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Title: Procopius
       History of the Wars, Books V. and VI.

Author: Procopius

Translator: H.B. Dewing

Release Date: January 6, 2007 [EBook #20298]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Emmy and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at







_First printed_ 1919

_Printed in Great Britain_




          BOOK  V.--THE GOTHIC WAR                        1
          BOOK VI.--THE GOTHIC WAR (_continued_)        287

          INDEX                                         427

       *       *       *       *       *

          PLAN OF WALLS AND GATES OF ROME       _facing_ 185






Such, then, were the fortunes of the Romans in Libya. I shall now
proceed to the Gothic War, first telling all that befell the Goths and
Italians before this war.

During the reign of Zeno[A] in Byzantium the power in the West was held
by Augustus, whom the Romans used to call by the diminutive name
Augustulus because he took over the empire while still a lad,[B] his
father Orestes, a man of the greatest discretion, administering it as
regent for him. Now it happened that the Romans a short time before had
induced the Sciri and Alani and certain other Gothic nations to form an
alliance with them; and from that time on it was their fortune to suffer
at the hand of Alaric and Attila those things which have been told in
the previous narrative.[1] And in proportion as the barbarian element
among them became strong, just so did the prestige of the Roman soldiers
forthwith decline, and under the fair name of alliance they were more
and more tyrannized over by the intruders and oppressed by them; so that
the barbarians ruthlessly forced many other measures upon the Romans
much against their will and finally demanded that they should divide
with them the entire land of Italy. And indeed they commanded Orestes to
give them the third part of this, and when he would by no means agree to
do so, they killed him immediately.[C] Now there was a certain man among
the Romans named Odoacer, one of the bodyguards of the emperor, and he
at that time agreed to carry out their commands, on condition that they
should set him upon the throne. And when he had received the supreme
power in this way, [D] he did the emperor no further harm, but allowed
him to live thenceforth as a private citizen. And by giving the third
part of the land to the barbarians, and in this way gaining their
allegiance most firmly, he held the supreme power securely for ten

            [A]474-491 A.D.
            [B]July 31, 475 A.D.
            [C]July 28, 476 A.D.
            [D]July 28, 476 A.D.

It was at about this same time that the Goths also, who were dwelling in
Thrace with the permission of the emperor, took up arms against the
Romans under the leadership of Theoderic, a man who was of patrician
rank and had attained the consular office in Byzantium. But the Emperor
Zeno, who understood how to settle to his advantage any situation in
which he found himself, advised Theoderic to proceed to Italy, attack
Odoacer, and win for himself and the Goths the western dominion. For it
was better for him, he said, especially as he had attained the
senatorial dignity, to force out a usurper and be ruler over all the
Romans and Italians than to incur the great risk of a decisive struggle
with the emperor.

Now Theoderic was pleased with the suggestion and went to Italy, and he
was followed by the Gothic host, who placed in their waggons the women
and children and such of their chattels as they were able to take with
them. And when they came near the Ionian Gulf,[3] they were quite unable
to cross over it, since they had no ships at hand; and so they made the
journey around the gulf, advancing through the land of the Taulantii and
the other nations of that region. Here the forces of Odoacer encountered
them, but after being defeated in many battles, they shut themselves up
with their leader in Ravenna and such other towns as were especially
strong. [E] And the Goths laid siege to these places and captured them
all, in one way or another, as it chanced in each case, except that they
were unable to capture, either by surrender or by storm, the fortress of
Caesena,[4] which is three hundred stades distant from Ravenna, and
Ravenna itself, where Odoacer happened to be. For this city of Ravenna
lies in a level plain at the extremity of the Ionian Gulf, lacking two
stades of being on the sea, and it is so situated as not to be easily
approached either by ships or by a land army. Ships cannot possibly put
in to shore there because the sea itself prevents them by forming shoals
for not less than thirty stades; consequently the beach at Ravenna,
although to the eye of mariners it is very near at hand, is in reality
very far away by reason of the great extent of the shoal-water. And a
land army cannot approach it at all; for the river Po, also called the
Eridanus, which flows past Ravenna, coming from the boundaries of
Celtica, and other navigable rivers together with some marshes, encircle
it on all sides and so cause the city to be surrounded by water. In that
place a very wonderful thing takes place every day. For early in the
morning the sea forms a kind of river and comes up over the land for the
distance of a day's journey for an unencumbered traveller and becomes
navigable in the midst of the mainland, and then in the late afternoon
it turns back again, causing the inlet to disappear, and gathers the
stream to itself.[5] All those, therefore, who have to convey provisions
into the city or carry them out from there for trade or for any other
reason, place their cargoes in boats, and drawing them down to the place
where the inlet is regularly formed, they await the inflow of the water.
And when this comes, the boats are lifted little by little from the
ground and float, and the sailors on them set to work and from that time
on are seafaring men. And this is not the only place where this happens,
but it is the regular occurrence along the whole coast in this region as
far as the city of Aquileia. However, it does not always take place in
the same way at every time, but when the light of the moon is faint, the
advance of the sea is not strong either, but from the first[6] half-moon
until the second the inflow has a tendency to be greater. So much for
this matter.

            [E] 489 A.D.

But when the third year had already been spent by the Goths and
Theoderic in their siege of Ravenna, the Goths, who were weary of the
siege, and the followers of Odoacer, who were hard pressed by the lack
of provisions, came to an agreement with each other through the
mediation of the priest of Ravenna, the understanding being that both
Theoderic and Odoacer should reside in Ravenna on terms of complete
equality. And for some time they observed the agreement; but afterward
Theoderic caught Odoacer, as they say, plotting against him, and bidding
him to a feast with treacherous intent slew him,[7] and in this way,
after gaining the adherence of such of the hostile barbarians as chanced
to survive, he himself secured the supremacy over both Goths and
Italians. And though he did not claim the right to assume either the
garb or the name of emperor of the Romans, but was called "rex" to the
end of his life (for thus the barbarians are accustomed to call their
leaders),[8] still, in governing his own subjects, he invested himself
with all the qualities which appropriately belong to one who is by birth
an emperor. For he was exceedingly careful to observe justice, he
preserved the laws on a sure basis, he protected the land and kept it
safe from the barbarians dwelling round about, and attained the highest
possible degree of wisdom and manliness. And he himself committed
scarcely a single act of injustice against his subjects, nor would he
brook such conduct on the part of anyone else who attempted it, except,
indeed, that the Goths distributed among themselves the portion of the
lands which Odoacer had given to his own partisans. And although in name
Theoderic was a usurper, yet in fact he was as truly an emperor as any
who have distinguished themselves in this office from the beginning; and
love for him among both Goths and Italians grew to be great, and that
too contrary to the ordinary habits of men. For in all states men's
preferences are divergent, with the result that the government in power
pleases for the moment only those with whom its acts find favour, but
offends those whose judgment it violates. But Theoderic reigned for
thirty-seven years, and when he died, he had not only made himself an
object of terror to all his enemies, but he also left to his subjects a
keen sense of bereavement at his loss. And he died in the following

            [F] 526 A.D.

Symmachus and his son-in-law Boetius were men of noble and ancient
lineage, and both had been leading men[9] in the Roman senate and had
been consuls. But because they practised philosophy and were mindful of
justice in a manner surpassed by no other men, relieving the destitution
of both citizens and strangers by generous gifts of money, they attained
great fame and thus led men of the basest sort to envy them. Now such
persons slandered them to Theoderic, and he, believing their slanders,
put these two men to death, on the ground that they were setting about a
revolution, and made their property confiscate to the public treasury.
And a few days later, while he was dining, the servants set before him
the head of a great fish. This seemed to Theoderic to be the head of
Symmachus newly slain. Indeed, with its teeth set in its lower lip and
its eyes looking at him with a grim and insane stare, it did resemble
exceedingly a person threatening him. And becoming greatly frightened at
the extraordinary prodigy and shivering excessively, he retired running
to his own chamber, and bidding them place many covers upon him,
remained quiet. But afterwards he disclosed to his physician Elpidius
all that had happened and wept for the wrong he had done Symmachus and
Boetius. Then, having lamented and grieved exceedingly over the
unfortunate occurrence, he died not long afterward. This was the first
and last act of injustice which he committed toward his subjects, and
the cause of it was that he had not made a thorough investigation, as he
was accustomed to do, before passing judgment on the two men.


[1] Book III. ii. 7 ff., iv. 29 ff.

[2] Odoacer was defeated and shut up in Ravenna by Theoderic in 489,
surrendered to him in 493, and was put to death in the same year. His
independent rule ([Greek: tyrannis]) therefore lasted thirteen years.

[3] Meaning the whole Adriatic; cf. chap. xv. 16, note.

[4] Modern Cesena.

[5] He means that an estuary ([Greek: porthmos]) is formed by the rising
tide in the morning, and the water flows out again as the tide falls in
the evening.

[6] From the first until the third quarter.

[7] See note in Bury's edition of Gibbon, Vol. IV. p. 180, for an
interesting account of this event.

[8] This is a general observation; the title "rex" was current among the
barbarians to indicate a position inferior to that of a [Greek:
basileus] or "imperator"; cf. VI. xiv. 38.

[9] Probably a reminiscence of the "princeps senatus" of classical


After his death[G] the kingdom was taken over by Atalaric, the son of
Theoderic's daughter; he had reached the age of eight years and was
being reared under the care of his mother Amalasuntha. For his father
had already departed from among men. And not long afterward Justinian
succeeded to the imperial power in Byzantium. [H]Now Amalasuntha, as
guardian of her child, administered the government, and she proved to be
endowed with wisdom and regard for justice in the highest degree,
displaying to a great extent the masculine temper. As long as she stood
at the head of the government she inflicted punishment upon no Roman in
any case either by touching his person or by imposing a fine.
Furthermore, she did not give way to the Goths in their mad desire to
wrong them, but she even restored to the children of Symmachus and
Boetius their fathers' estates. Now Amalasuntha wished to make her son
resemble the Roman princes in his manner of life, and was already
compelling him to attend the school of a teacher of letters. And she
chose out three among the old men of the Goths whom she knew to be
prudent and refined above all the others, and bade them live with
Atalaric. But the Goths were by no means pleased with this. For because
of their eagerness to wrong their subjects they wished to be ruled by
him more after the barbarian fashion. On one occasion the mother,
finding the boy doing some wrong in his chamber, chastised him; and he
in tears went off thence to the men's apartments. And some Goths who met
him made a great to-do about this, and reviling Amalasuntha insisted
that she wished to put the boy out of the world as quickly as possible,
in order that she might marry a second husband and with him rule over
the Goths and Italians. And all the notable men among them gathered
together, and coming before Amalasuntha made the charge that their king
was not being educated correctly from their point of view nor to his own
advantage. For letters, they said, are far removed from manliness, and
the teaching of old men results for the most part in a cowardly and
submissive spirit. Therefore the man who is to shew daring in any work
and be great in renown ought to be freed from the timidity which
teachers inspire and to take his training in arms. They added that even
Theoderic would never allow any of the Goths to send their children to
school; for he used to say to them all that, if the fear of the strap
once came over them, they would never have the resolution to despise
sword or spear. And they asked her to reflect that her father Theoderic
before he died had become master of all this territory and had invested
himself with a kingdom which was his by no sort of right, although he
had not so much as heard of letters. "Therefore, O Queen," they said,
"have done with these tutors now, and do you give to Atalaric some men
of his own age to be his companions, who will pass through the period of
youth with him and thus give him an impulse toward that excellence which
is in keeping with the custom of barbarians."

            [G]526 A.D.
            [H]527 A.D.

When Amalasuntha heard this, although she did not approve, yet because
she feared the plotting of these men, she made it appear that their
words found favour with her, and granted everything the barbarians
desired of her. And when the old men had left Atalaric, he was given the
company of some boys who were to share his daily life,--lads who had not
yet come of age but were only a little in advance of him in years; and
these boys, as soon as he came of age, by enticing him to drunkenness
and to intercourse with women, made him an exceptionally depraved youth,
and of such stupid folly that he was disinclined to follow his mother's
advice. Consequently he utterly refused to champion her cause, although
the barbarians were by now openly leaguing together against her; for
they were boldly commanding the woman to withdraw from the palace. But
Amalasuntha neither became frightened at the plotting of the Goths nor
did she, womanlike, weakly give way, but still displaying the dignity
befitting a queen, she chose out three men who were the most notable
among the barbarians and at the same time the most responsible for the
sedition against her, and bade them go to the limits of Italy, not
together, however, but as far apart as possible from one another; but it
was made to appear that they were being sent in order to guard the land
against the enemy's attack. But nevertheless these men by the help of
their friends and relations, who were all still in communication with
them, even travelling a long journey for the purpose, continued to make
ready the details of their plot against Amalasuntha.

And the woman, being unable to endure these things any longer, devised
the following plan. Sending to Byzantium she enquired of the Emperor
Justinian whether it was his wish that Amalasuntha, the daughter of
Theoderic, should come to him; for she wished to depart from Italy as
quickly as possible. And the emperor, being pleased by the suggestion,
bade her come and sent orders that the finest of the houses in Epidamnus
should be put in readiness, in order that when Amalasuntha should come
there, she might lodge in it and after spending such time there as she
wished might then betake herself to Byzantium. When Amalasuntha learned
this, she chose out certain Goths who were energetic men and especially
devoted to her and sent them to kill the three whom I have just
mentioned, as having been chiefly responsible for the sedition against
her. And she herself placed all her possessions, including four hundred
centenaria[10] of gold, in a single ship and embarked on it some of
those most faithful to her and bade them sail to Epidamnus, and, upon
arriving there, to anchor in its harbour, but to discharge from the ship
nothing whatever of its cargo until she herself should send orders. And
she did this in order that, if she should learn that the three men had
been destroyed, she might remain there and summon the ship back, having
no further fear from her enemies; but if it should chance that any one
of them was left alive, no good hope being left her, she purposed to
sail with all speed and find safety for herself and her possessions in
the emperor's land. Such was the purpose with which Amalasuntha was
sending the ship to Epidamnus; and when it arrived at the harbour of
that city, those who had the money carried out her orders. But a little
later, when the murders had been accomplished as she wished, Amalasuntha
summoned the ship back and remaining at Ravenna strengthened her rule
and made it as secure as might be.


[10] See Book I. xxii. 4; III. vi. 2 and note.


There was among the Goths one Theodatus by name, son of Amalafrida, the
sister of Theoderic, a man already of mature years, versed in the Latin
literature and the teachings of Plato, but without any experience
whatever in war and taking no part in active life, and yet
extraordinarily devoted to the pursuit of money. This Theodatus had
gained possession of most of the lands in Tuscany, and he was eager by
violent methods to wrest the remainder from their owners. For to have a
neighbour seemed to Theodatus a kind of misfortune. Now Amalasuntha was
exerting herself to curb this desire of his, and consequently he was
always vexed with her and resentful. He formed the plan, therefore, of
handing over Tuscany to the Emperor Justinian, in order that, upon
receiving from him a great sum of money and the senatorial dignity, he
might pass the rest of his life in Byzantium. After Theodatus had formed
this plan, there came from Byzantium to the chief priest of Rome two
envoys, Hypatius, the priest of Ephesus, and Demetrius, from Philippi in
Macedonia, to confer about a tenet of faith, which is a subject of
disagreement and controversy among the Christians. As for the points in
dispute, although I know them well, I shall by no means make mention of
them; for I consider it a sort of insane folly to investigate the nature
of God, enquiring of what sort it is. For man cannot, I think, apprehend
even human affairs with accuracy, much less those things which pertain
to the nature of God. As for me, therefore, I shall maintain a discreet
silence concerning these matters, with the sole object that old and
venerable beliefs may not be discredited. For I, for my part, will say
nothing whatever about God save that He is altogether good and has all
things in His power. But let each one say whatever he thinks he knows
about these matters, both priest and layman. As for Theodatus, he met
these envoys secretly and directed them to report to the Emperor
Justinian what he had planned, explaining what has just been set forth
by me.

But at this juncture Atalaric, having plunged into a drunken revel which
passed all bounds, was seized with a wasting disease. Wherefore
Amalasuntha was in great perplexity; for, on the one hand, she had no
confidence in the loyalty of her son, now that he had gone so far in his
depravity, and, on the other, she thought that if Atalaric also should
be removed from among men, her life would not be safe thereafter, since
she had given offence to the most notable of the Goths. For this reason
she was desirous of handing over the power of the Goths and Italians to
the Emperor Justinian, in order that she herself might be saved. And it
happened that Alexander, a man of the senate, together with Demetrius
and Hypatius, had come to Ravenna. For when the emperor had heard that
Amalasuntha's boat was anchored in the harbour of Epidamnus, but that
she herself was still tarrying, although much time had passed, he had
sent Alexander to investigate and report to him the whole situation with
regard to Amalasuntha; but it was given out that the emperor had sent
Alexander as an envoy to her because he was greatly disturbed by the
events at Lilybaeum which have been set forth by me in the preceding
narrative,[11] and because ten Huns from the army in Libya had taken
flight and reached Campania, and Uliaris, who was guarding Naples, had
received them not at all against the will of Amalasuntha, and also
because the Goths, in making war on the Gepaedes about Sirmium,[12] had
treated the city of Gratiana, situated at the extremity of Illyricum, as
a hostile town. So by way of protesting to Amalasuntha with regard to
these things, he wrote a letter and sent Alexander.

And when Alexander arrived in Rome, he left there the priests busied
with the matters for which they had come, and he himself, journeying on
to Ravenna and coming before Amalasuntha, reported the emperor's message
secretly, and openly delivered the letter to her. And the purport of the
writing was as follows: "The fortress of Lilybaeum, which is ours, you
have taken by force and are now holding, and barbarians, slaves of mine
who have run away, you have received and have not even yet decided to
restore them to me, and besides all this you have treated outrageously
my city of Gratiana, though it belongs to you in no way whatever.
Wherefore it is time for you to consider what the end of these things
will some day be." And when this letter had been delivered to her and
she had read it, she replied in the following words: "One may reasonably
expect an emperor who is great and lays claim to virtue to assist an
orphan child who does not in the least comprehend what is being done,
rather than for no cause at all to quarrel with him. For unless a
struggle be waged on even terms, even the victory it gains brings no
honour. But thou dost threaten Atalaric on account of Lilybaeum, and ten
runaways, and a mistake, made by soldiers in going against their
enemies, which through some misapprehension chanced to affect a friendly
city. Nay! do not thus; do not thou thus, O Emperor, but call to mind
that when them wast making war upon the Vandals, we not only refrained
from hindering thee, but quite zealously even gave thee free passage
against the enemy and provided a market in which to buy the
indispensable supplies,[13] furnishing especially the multitude of
horses to which thy final mastery over the enemy was chiefly due. And
yet it is not merely the man who offers an alliance of arms to his
neighbours that would in justice be called their ally and friend, but
also the man who actually is found assisting another in war in regard to
his every need. And consider that at that time thy fleet had no other
place at which to put in from the sea except Sicily, and that without
the supplies bought there it could not go on to Libya. Therefore thou
art indebted to us for the chief cause of thy victory; for the one who
provides a solution for a difficult situation is justly entitled also to
the credit for the results which flow from his help. And what could be
sweeter for a man, O Emperor, than gaining the mastery over his enemies?
And yet in our case the outcome is that we suffer no slight
disadvantage, in that we do not, in accordance with the custom of war,
enjoy our share of the spoils. And now thou art also claiming the right
to despoil us of Lilybaeum in Sicily, which has belonged to the Goths
from ancient times, a lone rock, O Emperor, worth not so much as a piece
of silver, which, had it happened to belong to thy kingdom from ancient
times, thou mightest in equity at least have granted to Atalaric as a
reward for his services, since he lent thee assistance in the times of
thy most pressing necessity." Such was the message which Amalasuntha
wrote openly to the emperor; but secretly she agreed to put the whole
of Italy into his hands. And the envoys, returning to Byzantium,
reported everything to the Emperor Justinian, Alexander telling him the
course which had been decided upon by Amalasuntha, and Demetrius and
Hypatius all that they had heard Theodatus say, adding that Theodatus
enjoyed great power in Tuscany, where he had become owner of the most of
the land and consequently would be able with no trouble at all to carry
his agreement into effect. And the emperor, overjoyed at this situation,
immediately sent to Italy Peter, an Illyrian by birth, but a citizen of
Thessalonica, a man who was one of the trained speakers in Byzantium, a
discreet and gentle person withal and fitted by nature to persuade men.


[11] Book IV. v. 11 ff.

[12] Near modern Mitrowitz.

[13] Cf. Book III. xiv. 5, 6.


But while these things were going on as I have explained, Theodatus was
denounced before Amalasuntha by many Tuscans, who stated that he had
done violence to all the people of Tuscany and had without cause seized
their estates, taking not only all private estates but especially those
belonging to the royal household, which the Romans are accustomed to
call "patrimonium." For this reason the woman called Theodatus to an
investigation, and when, being confronted by his denouncers, he had been
proved guilty without any question, she compelled him to pay back
everything which he had wrongfully seized and then dismissed him. And
since in this way she had given the greatest offence to the man, from
that time she was on hostile terms with him, exceedingly vexed as he
was by reason of his fondness for money, because he was unable to
continue his unlawful and violent practices.

At about this same time[I] Atalaric, being quite wasted away by the
disease, came to his end, having lived eight years in office. As for
Amalasuntha, since it was fated that she should fare ill, she took no
account of the nature of Theodatus and of what she had recently done to
him, and supposed that she would suffer no unpleasant treatment at his
hands if she should do the man some rather unusual favour. She
accordingly summoned him, and when he came, set out to cajole him,
saying that for some time she had known well that it was to be expected
that her son would soon die; for she had heard the opinion of all the
physicians, who agreed in their judgment, and had herself perceived that
the body of Atalaric continued to waste away. And since she saw that
both Goths and Italians had an unfavourable opinion regarding Theodatus,
who had now come to represent the race of Theoderic, she had conceived
the desire to clear him of this evil name, in order that it might not
stand in his way if he were called to the throne. But at the same time,
she explained, the question of justice disturbed her, at the thought
that those who claimed to have been wronged by him already should find
that they had no one to whom they might report what had befallen them,
but that they now had their enemy as their master. For these reasons,
then, although she invited him to the throne after his name should have
been cleared in this way, yet it was necessary, she said, that he should
be bound by the most solemn oaths that while the title of the office
should be conferred upon Theodatus, she herself should in fact hold the
power no less than before. When Theodatus heard this, although he swore
to all the conditions which Amalasuntha wished, he entered into the
agreement with treacherous intent, remembering all that she had
previously done to him. Thus Amalasuntha, being deceived by her own
judgment and the oaths of Theodatus, established him in the office. And
sending some Goths as envoys to Byzantium, she made this known to the
Emperor Justinian.

            [I]Oct. 10, 534 A.D.

But Theodatus, upon receiving the supreme power, began to act in all
things contrary to the hopes she had entertained and to the promises he
had made. And after winning the adherence of the relatives of the Goths
who had been slain by her--and they were both numerous and men of very
high standing among the Goths--he suddenly put to death some of the
connections of Amalasuntha and imprisoned her, the envoys not having as
yet reached Byzantium. Now there is a certain lake in Tuscany called
Vulsina,[14] within which rises an island,[15] exceedingly small but
having a strong fortress upon it. There Theodatus confined Amalasuntha
and kept her under guard.[J] But fearing that by this act he had given
offence to the emperor, as actually proved to be the case, he sent some
men of the Roman senate, Liberius and Opilio and certain others,
directing them to excuse his conduct to the emperor with all their power
by assuring him that Amalasuntha had met with no harsh treatment at his
hands, although she had perpetrated irreparable outrages upon him
before. And he himself wrote in this sense to the emperor, and also
compelled Amalasuntha, much against her will, to write the same thing.

            [J]Apr. 30, 535 A.D.

Such was the course of these events. But Peter had already been
despatched by the emperor on an embassy to Italy with instructions to
meet Theodatus without the knowledge of any others, and after Theodatus
had given pledges by an oath that none of their dealings should be
divulged, he was then to make a secure settlement with him regarding
Tuscany; and meeting Amalasuntha stealthily he was to make such an
arrangement with her regarding the whole of Italy as would be to the
profit of either party. But openly his mission was to negotiate with
regard to Lilybaeum and the other matters which I have lately mentioned.
For as yet the emperor had heard nothing about the death of Atalaric or
the succession of Theodatus to the throne, or the fate which had
befallen Amalasuntha. And Peter was already on his way when he met the
envoys of Amalasuntha and learned, in the first place, that Theodatus
had come to the throne; and a little later, upon reaching the city of
Aulon,[16] which lies on the Ionian Gulf, he met there the company of
Liberius and Opilio, and learned everything which had taken place, and
reporting this to the emperor he remained there.

And when the Emperor Justinian heard these things, he formed the purpose
of throwing the Goths and Theodatus into confusion; accordingly he wrote
a letter to Amalasuntha, stating that he was eager to give her every
possible support, and at the same time he directed Peter by no means to
conceal this message, but to make it known to Theodatus himself and to
all the Goths. And when the envoys from Italy arrived in Byzantium, they
all, with a single exception, reported the whole matter to the emperor,
and especially Liberius; for he was a man unusually upright and
honourable, and one who knew well how to shew regard for the truth; but
Opilio alone declared with the greatest persistence that Theodatus had
committed no offence against Amalasuntha. Now when Peter arrived in
Italy, it so happened that Amalasuntha had been removed from among men.
For the relatives of the Goths who had been slain by her came before
Theodatus declaring that neither his life nor theirs was secure unless
Amalasuntha should be put out of their way as quickly as possible. And
as soon as he gave in to them, they went to the island and killed
Amalasuntha,--an act which grieved exceedingly all the Italians and the
Goths as well. For the woman had the strictest regard for every kind of
virtue, as has been stated by me a little earlier.[17] Now Peter
protested openly[18] to Theodatus and the other Goths that because this
base deed had been committed by them, there would be war without truce
between the emperor and themselves. But Theodatus, such was his stupid
folly, while still holding the slayers of Amalasuntha in honour and
favour kept trying to persuade Peter and the emperor that this unholy
deed had been committed by the Goths by no means with his approval, but
decidedly against his will.


[14] Modern Bolsena.

[15] Marta; "now entirely uninhabited, but with a few steps cut in the
rock which are said to have led to the prison of Amalasuntha."--HODGKIN.

[16] Modern Avlona in Albania.

[17] Chap. ii. 3.

[18] See Gibbon's note (chap. xli.), amplified in Bury's edition, Vol.
IV. p. 304, for additional light on the part played by Justinian and
Peter in this affair.


Meanwhile it happened that Belisarius had distinguished himself by the
defeat of Gelimer and the Vandals. And the emperor, upon learning what
had befallen Amalasuntha, immediately entered upon the war, being in the
ninth year of his reign. And he first commanded Mundus, the general of
Illyricum, to go to Dalmatia, which was subject to the Goths, and make
trial of Salones.[19] Now Mundus was by birth a barbarian, but
exceedingly loyal to the cause of the emperor and an able warrior. Then
he sent Belisarius by sea with four thousand soldiers from the regular
troops and the foederati,[20] and about three thousand of the Isaurians.
And the commanders were men of note: Constantinus and Bessas from the
land of Thrace, and Peranius from Iberia[21] which is hard by Media, a
man who was by birth a member of the royal family of the Iberians, but
had before this time come as a deserter to the Romans through enmity
toward the Persians; and the levies of cavalry were commanded by
Valentinus, Magnus, and Innocentius, and the infantry by Herodian,
Paulus, Demetrius, and Ursicinus, while the leader of the Isaurians was
Ennes. And there were also two hundred Huns as allies and three hundred
Moors. But the general in supreme command over all was Belisarius, and
he had with him many notable men as spearmen and guards. And he was
accompanied also by Photius, the son of his wife Antonina by a previous
marriage; he was still a young man wearing his first beard, but
possessed the greatest discretion and shewed a strength of character
beyond his years. And the emperor instructed Belisarius to give out that
his destination was Carthage, but as soon as they should arrive at
Sicily, they were to disembark there as it obliged for some reason to do
so, and make trial of the island. And if it should be possible to reduce
it to subjection without any trouble, they were to take possession and
not let it go again; but if they should meet with any obstacle, they
were to sail with all speed to Libya, giving no one an opportunity to
perceive what their intention was.

And he also sent a letter to the leaders of the Franks as follows: "The
Goths, having seized by violence Italy, which was ours, have not only
refused absolutely to give it back, but have committed further acts of
injustice against us which are unendurable and pass beyond all bounds.
For this reason we have been compelled to take the field against them,
and it is proper that you should join with us in waging this war, which
is rendered yours as well as ours not only by the orthodox faith, which
rejects the opinion of the Arians, but also by the enmity we both feel
toward the Goths." Such was the emperor's letter; and making a gift of
money to them, he agreed to give more as soon as they should take an
active part. And they with all zeal promised to fight in alliance with

Now Mundus and the army under his command entered Dalmatia, and engaging
with the Goths who encountered them there, defeated them in the battle
and took possession of Salones. As for Belisarius, he put in at Sicily
and took Catana. And making that place his base of operations, he took
over Syracuse and the other cities by surrender without any trouble;
except, indeed, that the Goths who were keeping guard in Panormus,[22]
having confidence in the fortifications of the place, which was a strong
one, were quite unwilling to yield to Belisarius and ordered him to lead
his army away from there with all speed. But Belisarius, considering
that it was impossible to capture the place from the landward side,
ordered the fleet to sail into the harbour, which extended right up to
the wall. For it was outside the circuit-wall and entirely without
defenders. Now when the ships had anchored there, it was seen that the
masts were higher than the parapet. Straightway, therefore, he filled
all the small boats of the ships with bowmen and hoisted them to the
tops of the masts. And when from these boats the enemy were shot at from
above, they fell into such an irresistible fear that they immediately
delivered Panormus to Belisarius by surrender. As a result of this the
emperor held all Sicily subject and tributary to himself. And at that
time it so happened that there fell to Belisarius a piece of good
fortune beyond the power of words to describe. For, having received the
dignity of the consulship because of his victory over the Vandals, while
he was still holding this honour, and after he had won the whole of
Sicily, on the last day of his consulship,[K] he marched into Syracuse,
loudly applauded by the army and by the Sicilians and throwing golden
coins to all. This coincidence, however, was not intentionally arranged
by him, but it was a happy chance which befell the man, that after
having recovered the whole of the island for the Romans he marched into
Syracuse on that particular day; and so it was not in the senate house
in Byzantium, as was customary, but there that he laid down the office
of the consuls and so became an ex-consul. Thus, then, did good fortune
attend Belisarius.

            [K]Dec. 31, 535 A.D.


[19] Or Salona, near modern Spalato.

[20] Auxiliaries; see Book III. xi. 3, 4, and note.

[21] Corresponding roughly to modern Georgia, just south of the

[22] Modern Palermo.


And when Peter learned of the conquest of Sicily, he was still more
insistent in his efforts to frighten Theodatus and would not let him go.
But he, turning coward and reduced to speechlessness no less than if he
himself had become a captive with Gelimer,[23] entered into negotiations
with Peter without the knowledge of any others, and between them they
formed an agreement, providing that Theodatus should retire from all
Sicily in favour of the Emperor Justinian, and should send him also a
golden crown every year weighing three hundred litrae,[24] and Gothic
warriors to the number of three thousand whenever he should wish; and
that Theodatus himself should have no authority to kill any priest or
senator, or to confiscate his property for the public treasury except by
the decision of the emperor; and that if Theodatus wished to advance
any of his subjects to the patrician or some other senatorial rank this
honour should not be bestowed by him, but he should ask the emperor to
bestow it; and that the Roman populace, in acclaiming their sovereign,
should always shout the name of the emperor first, and afterward that of
Theodatus, both in the theatres and in the hippodromes and wherever else
it should be necessary for such a thing to be done; furthermore, that no
statue of bronze nor of any other material should ever be set up to
Theodatus alone, but statues must always be made for both, and they must
stand thus: on the right that of the emperor, and on the other side that
of Theodatus. And after Theodatus had written in confirmation of this
agreement he dismissed the ambassador.

But, a little later, terror laid hold upon the man's soul and brought
him into fears which knew no bound and tortured his mind, filling him
with dread at the name of war, and reminding him that if the agreement
drawn up by Peter and himself did not please the emperor at all, war
would straightway come upon him. Once more, therefore, he summoned
Peter, who had already reached Albani,[25] for a secret conference, and
enquired of the man whether he thought that the agreement would be
pleasing to the emperor. And he replied that he supposed it would. "But
if," said Theodatus, "these things do not please the man at all, what
will happen then?" And Peter replied "After that you will have to wage
war, most noble Sir." "But what is this," he said; "is it just, my dear
ambassador?" And Peter, immediately taking him up, said "And how is it
not just, my good Sir, that the pursuits appropriate to each man's
nature should be preserved?" "What, pray, may this mean?" asked
Theodatus. "It means," was the reply, "that your great interest is to
philosophize, while Justinian's is to be a worthy emperor of the Romans.
And there is this difference, that for one who has practised philosophy
it would never be seemly to bring about the death of men, especially in
such great numbers, and it should be added that this view accords with
the teachings of Plato, which you have evidently espoused, and hence it
is unholy for you not to be free from all bloodshed; but for him it is
not at all inappropriate to seek to acquire a land which has belonged
from of old to the realm which is his own." Thereupon Theodatus, being
convinced by this advice, agreed to retire from the kingship in favour
of the Emperor Justinian, and both he and his wife took an oath to this
effect. He then bound Peter by oaths that he would not divulge this
agreement until he should see that the emperor would not accept the
former convention. And he sent with him Rusticus, a priest who was
especially devoted to him and a Roman citizen, to negotiate on the basis
of this agreement. And he also entrusted a letter to these men.

So Peter and Rusticus, upon reaching Byzantium, reported the first
decision to the emperor, just as Theodatus had directed them to do. But
when the emperor was quite unwilling to accept the proposal, they
revealed the plan which had been committed to writing afterwards. This
was to the following effect: "I am no stranger to royal courts, but it
was my fortune to have been born in the house of my uncle while he was
king and to have been reared in a manner worthy of my race; and yet I
have had little experience of wars and of the turmoils which wars
entail. For since from my earliest years I have been passionately
addicted to scholarly disputations and have always devoted my time to
this sort of thing, I have consequently been up to the present time very
far removed from the confusion of battles. Therefore it is utterly
absurd that I should aspire to the honours which royalty confers and
thus lead a life fraught with danger, when it is possible for me to
avoid them both. For neither one of these is a pleasure to me; the
first, because it is liable to satiety, for it is a surfeit of all sweet
things, and the second, because lack of familiarity with such a life
throws one into confusion. But as for me, if estates should be provided
me which yielded an annual income of no less than twelve centenaria,[26]
I should regard the kingdom as of less account than them, and I shall
hand over to thee forthwith the power of the Goths and Italians. For I
should find more pleasure in being a farmer free from all cares than in
passing my life amid a king's anxieties, attended as they are by danger
after danger. Pray send a man as quickly as possible into whose hands I
may fittingly deliver Italy and the affairs of the kingdom."

Such was the purport of the letter of Theodatus. And the emperor, being
exceedingly pleased, replied as follows: "From of old have I heard by
report that you were a man of discretion, but now, taught by experience,
I know it by the decision you have reached not to await the issue of
the war. For certain men who in the past have followed such a course
have been completely undone. And you will never repent having made us
friends instead of enemies. But you will not only have this that you ask
at our hands, but you will also have the distinction of being enrolled
in the highest honours of the Romans. Now for the present I have sent
Athanasius and Peter, so that each party may have surety by some
agreement. And almost immediately Belisarius also will visit you to
complete all the arrangements which have been agreed upon between us."
After writing this the emperor sent Athanasius, the brother of
Alexander, who had previously gone on an embassy to Atalaric, as has
been said,[27] and for the second time Peter the orator, whom I have
mentioned above,[28] enjoining upon them to assign to Theodatus the
estates of the royal household, which they call "patrimonium"; and not
until after they had drawn up a written document and had secured oaths
to fortify the agreement were they to summon Belisarius from Sicily, in
order that he might take over the palace and all Italy and hold them
under guard. And he wrote to Belisarius that as soon as they should
summon him he should go thither with all speed.


[23] The captivity of Gelimer is described in Book IV. vii. 12-17; ix.

[24] At present values "worth about Ł12,000."--HODGKIN.

[25] Modern Albano; on the Appian Way. Cf. Book VI. iv. 8.

[26] See Book I. xxii. 4; III. vi. 2, note.

[27] Chap. iii. 13.

[28] Chap. iii. 30, iv. 17 ff.


But meantime, while the emperor was engaged in these negotiations and
these envoys were travelling to Italy, the Goths, under command of
Asinarius and Gripas and some others, had come with a great army into
Dalmatia. And when they had reached the neighbourhood of Salones,
Mauricius, the son of Mundus, who was not marching out for battle but,
with a few men, was on a scouting expedition, encountered them. A
violent engagement ensued in which the Goths lost their foremost and
noblest men, but the Romans almost their whole company, including their
general Mauricius. And when Mundus heard of this, being overcome with
grief at the misfortune and by this time dominated by a mighty fury, he
went against the enemy without the least delay and regardless of order.
The battle which took place was stubbornly contested, and the result was
a Cadmean victory[29] for the Romans. For although the most of the enemy
fell there and their rout had been decisive, Mundus, who went on killing
and following up the enemy wherever he chanced to find them and was
quite unable to restrain his mind because of the misfortune of his son,
was wounded by some fugitive or other and fell. Thereupon the pursuit
ended and the two armies separated. And at that time the Romans recalled
the verse of the Sibyl, which had been pronounced in earlier times and
seemed to them a portent. For the words of the saying were that when
Africa should be held, the "world" would perish together with its
offspring. This, however, was not the real meaning of the oracle, but
after intimating that Libya would be once more subject to the Romans, it
added this statement also, that when that time came Mundus would perish
together with his son. For it runs as follows: "Africa capta Mundus cum
nato peribit."[30] But since "mundus" in the Latin tongue has the force
of "world," they thought that the saying had reference to the world. So
much, then, for this. As for Salones, it was not entered by anyone. For
the Romans went back home, since they were left altogether without a
commander, and the Goths, seeing that not one of their nobles was left
them, fell into fear and took possession of the strongholds in the
neighbourhood; for they had no confidence in the defences of Salones,
and, besides, the Romans who lived there were not very well disposed
towards them.

When Theodatus heard this, he took no account of the envoys who by now
had come to him. For he was by nature much given to distrust, and he by
no means kept his mind steadfast, but the present fortune always reduced
him now to a state of terror which knew no measure, and this contrary to
reason and the proper understanding of the situation, and again brought
him to the opposite extreme of unspeakable boldness. And so at that
time, when he heard of the death of Mundus and Mauricius, he was lifted
up exceedingly and in a manner altogether unjustified by what had
happened, and he saw fit to taunt the envoys when they at length
appeared before him. And when Peter on one occasion remonstrated with
him because he had transgressed his agreement with the emperor,
Theodatus called both of them publicly and spoke as follows: "The
position of envoys is a proud one and in general has come to be held in
honour among all men; but envoys preserve for themselves these their
prerogatives only so long as they guard the dignity of their embassy by
the propriety of their own conduct. For men have sanctioned as just the
killing of an envoy whenever he is either found to have insulted a
sovereign or has had knowledge of a woman who is the wife of another."
Such were the words with which Theodatus inveighed against Peter, not
because he had approached a woman, but, apparently, in order to make
good his claim that there were charges which might lead to the death of
an ambassador. But the envoys replied as follows: "The facts are not, O
Ruler of the Goths, as thou hast stated them, nor canst thou, under
cover of flimsy pretexts, wantonly perpetrate unholy deeds upon men who
are envoys. For it is not possible for an ambassador, even if he wishes
it, to become an adulterer, since it is not easy for him even to partake
of water except by the will of those who guard him. And as for the
proposals which he has received from the lips of him who has sent him
and then delivers, he himself cannot reasonably incur the blame which
arises from them, in case they be not good, but he who has given the
command would justly bear this charge, while the sole responsibility of
the ambassador is to have discharged his mission. We, therefore, shall
say all that we were instructed by the emperor to say when we were sent,
and do thou hear us quietly; for if thou art stirred to excitement, all
thou canst do will be to wrong men who are ambassadors. It is time,
therefore, for thee of thine own free will to perform all that thou
didst promise the emperor. This, indeed, is the purpose for which we
have come. And the letter which he wrote to thee thou hast already
received, but as for the writing which he sent to the foremost of the
Goths, to no others shall we give it than to them." When the leading men
of the barbarians, who were present, heard this speech of the envoys,
they bade them give to Theodatus what had been written to them. And it
ran as follows: "It has been the object of our care to receive you back
into our state, whereat you may well be pleased. For you will come to
us, not in order to be made of less consequence, but that you may be
more honoured. And, besides, we are not bidding the Goths enter into
strange or alien customs, but into those of a people with whom you were
once familiar, though you have by chance been separated from them for a
season. For these reasons Athanasius and Peter have been sent to you,
and you ought to assist them in all things." Such was the purport of
this letter. But after Theodatus had read everything, he not only
decided not to perform in deed the promises he had made to the emperor,
but also put the envoys under a strict guard.

But when the Emperor Justinian heard these things and what had taken
place in Dalmatia, he sent Constantianus, who commanded the royal
grooms, into Illyricum, bidding him gather an army from there and make
an attempt on Salones, in whatever manner he might be able; and he
commanded Belisarius to enter Italy with all speed and to treat the
Goths as enemies. So Constantianus came to Epidamnus and spent some time
there gathering an army. But in the meantime the Goths, under the
leadership of Gripas, came with another army into Dalmatia and took
possession of Salones; and Constantianus, when all his preparations were
as complete as possible, departed from Epidamnus with his whole force
and cast anchor at Epidaurus[31] which is on the right as one sails
into the Ionian Gulf. Now it so happened that some men were there whom
Gripas had sent out as spies. And when they took note of the ships and
the army of Constantianus it seemed to them that both the sea and the
whole land were full of soldiers, and returning to Gripas they declared
that Constantianus was bringing against them an army of men numbering
many tens of thousands. And he, being plunged into great fear, thought
it inexpedient to meet their attack, and at the same time he was quite
unwilling to be besieged by the emperor's army, since it so completely
commanded the sea; but he was disturbed most of all by the
fortifications of Salones (since the greater part of them had already
fallen down), and by the exceedingly suspicious attitude on the part of
the inhabitants of the place toward the Goths. And for this reason he
departed thence with his whole army as quickly as possible and made camp
in the plain which is between Salones and the city of Scardon.[32] And
Constantianus, sailing with all his ships from Epidaurus, put in at
Lysina,[33] which is an island in the gulf. Thence he sent forward some
of his men, in order that they might make enquiry concerning the plans
of Gripas and report them to him. Then, after learning from them the
whole situation, he sailed straight for Salones with all speed. And when
he had put in at a place close to the city, he disembarked his army on
the mainland and himself remained quiet there; but he selected five
hundred from the army, and setting over them as commander Siphilas, one
of his own bodyguards, he commanded them to seize the narrow pass[34]
which, as he had been informed, was in the outskirts of the city. And
this Siphilas did. And Constantianus and his whole land army entered
Salones on the following day, and the fleet anchored close by. Then
Constantianus proceeded to look after the fortifications of the city,
building up in haste all such parts of them as had fallen down; and
Gripas, with the Gothic army, on the seventh day after the Romans had
taken possession of Salones, departed from there and betook themselves
to Ravenna; and thus Constantianus gained possession of all Dalmatia and
Liburnia, bringing over to his side all the Goths who were settled
there. Such were the events in Dalmatia. And the winter drew to a close,
and thus ended the first year of this war, the history of which
Procopius has written.


[29] Proverbial for a victory in which the victor is slain; probably
from the story of the Theban, or "Cadmean," heroes Eteocles and

[30] See Bury's edition of Gibbon, Vol. IV. App. 15, for a discussion of
this oracle.

[31] Modern Ragusa Vecchia.

[32] Near Sebenico.

[33] Modern Lesina.

[34] An important approach to the city from the west.


And Belisarius, leaving guards in Syracuse and Panormus, crossed with
the rest of the army from Messana to Rhegium (where the myths of the
poets say Scylla and Charybdis were), and every day the people of that
region kept coming over to him. For since their towns had from of old
been without walls, they had no means at all of guarding them, and
because of their hostility toward the Goths they were, as was natural,
greatly dissatisfied with their present government. And Ebrimous came
over to Belisarius as a deserter from the Goths, together with all his
followers; this man was the son-in-law of Theodatus, being married to
Theodenanthe, his daughter. And he was straightway sent to the emperor
and received many gifts of honour and in particular attained the
patrician dignity. And the army of Belisarius marched from Rhegium
through Bruttium and Lucania, and the fleet of ships accompanied it,
sailing close to the mainland. But when they reached Campania, they came
upon a city on the sea, Naples by name, which was strong not only
because of the nature of its site, but also because it contained a
numerous garrison of Goths. And Belisarius commanded the ships to anchor
in the harbour, which was beyond the range of missiles, while he himself
made his camp near the city. He then first took possession by surrender
of the fort which is in the suburb, and afterwards permitted the
inhabitants of the city at their own request to send some of their
notables into his camp, in order that they might tell what their wish
was and, after receiving his reply, report to the populace. Straightway,
therefore, the Neapolitans sent Stephanus. And he, upon coming before
Belisarius, spoke as follows:

"You are not acting justly, O general, in taking the field against men
who are Romans and have done no wrong, who inhabit but a small city and
have over us a guard of barbarians as masters, so that it does not even
lie in our power, if we desire to do so, to oppose them. But it so
happens that even these guards had to leave their wives and children,
and their most precious possessions in the hands of Theodatus before
they came to keep guard over us. Therefore, if they treat with you at
all, they will plainly be betraying, not the city, but themselves. And
if one must speak the truth with no concealment, you have not counselled
to your advantage, either, in coming against us. For if you capture
Rome, Naples will be subject to you without any further trouble, whereas
if you are repulsed from there, it is probable that you will not be able
to hold even this city securely. Consequently the time you spend on this
siege will be spent to no purpose."

So spoke Stephanus. And Belisarius replied as follows:

"Whether we have acted wisely or foolishly in coming here is not a
question which we propose to submit to the Neapolitans. But we desire
that you first weigh carefully such matters as are appropriate to your
deliberations and then act solely in accordance with your own interests.
Receive into your city, therefore, the emperor's army, which has come to
secure your freedom and that of the other Italians, and do not choose
the course which will bring upon you the most grievous misfortunes. For
those who, in order to rid themselves of slavery or any other shameful
thing, go into war, such men, if they fare well in the struggle, have
double good fortune, because along with their victory they have also
acquired freedom from their troubles, and if defeated they gain some
consolation for themselves, in that, they have not of their own free
will chosen to follow the worse fortune. But as for those who have the
opportunity to be free without fighting, but yet enter into a struggle
in order to make their condition of slavery permanent, such men, even if
it so happens that they conquer, have failed in the most vital point,
and if in the battle they fare less happily than they wished, they will
have, along with their general ill-fortune, also the calamity of
defeat. As for the Neapolitans, then, let these words suffice. But as
for these Goths who are present, we give them the choice, either to
array themselves hereafter on our side under the great emperor, or to go
to their homes altogether immune from harm. Because, if both you and
they, disregarding all these considerations, dare to raise arms against
us, it will be necessary for us also, if God so wills, to treat whomever
we meet as an enemy. If, however, it is the will of the Neapolitans to
choose the cause of the emperor and thus to be rid of so cruel a
slavery, I take it upon myself, giving you pledges, to promise that you
will receive at our hands those benefits which the Sicilians lately
hoped for, and with regard to which they were unable to say that we had
sworn falsely."

Such was the message which Belisarius bade Stephanus take back to the
people. But privately he promised him large rewards if he should inspire
the Neapolitans with good-will toward the emperor. And Stephanus, upon
coming into the city, reported the words of Belisarius and expressed his
own opinion that it was inexpedient to fight against the emperor. And he
was assisted in his efforts by Antiochus, a man of Syria, but long
resident in Naples for the purpose of carrying on a shipping business,
who had a great reputation there for wisdom and justice. But there were
two men, Pastor and Asclepiodotus, trained speakers and very notable men
among the Neapolitans, who were exceedingly friendly toward the Goths,
and quite unwilling to have any change made in the present state of
affairs. These two men, planning how they might block the negotiations,
induced the multitude to demand many serious concessions, and to try to
force Belisarius to promise on oath that they should forthwith obtain
what they asked for. And after writing down in a document such demands
as nobody would have supposed that Belisarius would accept, they gave it
to Stephanus. And he, returning to the emperor's army, shewed the
writing to the general, and enquired of him whether he was willing to
carry out all the proposals which the Neapolitans made and to take an
oath concerning them. And Belisarius promised that they should all be
fulfilled for them and so sent him back. Now when the Neapolitans heard
this, they were in favour of accepting the general's assurances at once
and began to urge that the emperor's army be received into the city with
all speed. For he declared that nothing unpleasant would befall them, if
the case of the Sicilians was sufficient evidence for anyone to judge
by, since, as he pointed out, it had only recently been their lot, after
they had exchanged their barbarian tyrants for the sovereignty of
Justinian, to be, not only free men, but also immune from all
difficulties. And swayed by great excitement they were about to go to
the gates with the purpose of throwing them open. And though the Goths
were not pleased with what they were doing, still, since they were
unable to prevent it, they stood out of the way.

But Pastor and Asclepiodotus called together the people and all the
Goths in one place, and spoke as follows: "It is not at all unnatural
that the populace of a city should abandon themselves and their own
safety, especially if, without consulting any of their notables, they
make an independent decision regarding their all. But it is necessary
for us, who are on the very point of perishing together with you, to
offer as a last contribution to the fatherland this advice. We see,
then, fellow citizens, that you are intent upon betraying both
yourselves and the city to Belisarius, who promises to confer many
benefits upon you and to swear the most solemn oaths in confirmation of
his promises. Now if he is able to promise you this also, that to him
will come the victory in the war, no one could deny that the course you
are taking is to your advantage. For it is great folly not to gratify
every whim of him who is to become master. But if this outcome lies in
uncertainty, and no man in the world is competent to guarantee the
decision of fortune, consider what sort of misfortunes your haste is
seeking to attain. For if the Goths overcome their adversaries in the
war, they will punish you as enemies and as having done them the foulest
wrong. For you are resorting to this act of treason, not under
constraint of necessity, but out of deliberate cowardice. So that even
to Belisarius, if he wins the victory over his enemies, we shall perhaps
appear faithless and betrayers of our rulers, and having proved
ourselves deserters, we shall in all probability have a guard set over
us permanently by the emperor. For though he who has found a traitor is
pleased at the moment of victory by the service rendered, yet
afterwards, moved by suspicion based upon the traitor's past, he hates
and fears his benefactor, since he himself has in his own possession the
evidences of the other's faithlessness. If, however, we shew ourselves
faithful to the Goths at the present time, manfully submitting to the
danger, they will give us great rewards in case they win the mastery
over the enemy, and Belisarius, if it should so happen that he is the
victor, will be prone to forgive. For loyalty which fails is punished by
no man unless he be lacking in understanding. But what has happened to
you that you are in terror of being besieged by the enemy, you who have
no lack of provisions, have not been deprived by blockade of any of the
necessities of life, and hence may sit at home, confident in the
fortifications and in your garrison here?[35] And in our opinion even
Belisarius would not have consented to this agreement with us if he had
any hope of capturing the city by force. And yet if what he desired were
that which is just and that which will be to our advantage, he ought not
to be trying to frighten the Neapolitans or to establish his own power
by means of an act of injustice on our part toward the Goths; but he
should do battle with Theodatus and the Goths, so that without danger to
us or treason on our part the city might come into the power of the

When they had finished speaking, Pastor and Asclepiodotus brought
forward the Jews, who promised that the city should be in want of none
of the necessities, and the Goths on their part promised that they would
guard the circuit-wall safely. And the Neapolitans, moved by these
arguments, bade Belisarius depart thence with all speed. He, however,
began the siege. And he made many attempts upon the circuit-wall, but
was always repulsed, losing many of his soldiers, and especially those
who laid some claim to valour. For the wall of Naples was inaccessible,
on one side by reason of the sea, and on the other because of some
difficult country, and those who planned to attack it could gain
entrance at no point, not only because of its general situation, but
also because the ground sloped steeply. However, Belisarius cut the
aqueduct which brought water into the city; but he did not in this way
seriously disturb the Neapolitans, since there were wells inside the
circuit-wall which sufficed for their needs and kept them from feeling
too keenly the loss of the aqueduct.


[35] _i.e._ the Goths; cf. § 5 above.


So the besieged, without the knowledge of the enemy, sent to Theodatus
in Rome begging him to come to their help with all speed. But Theodatus
was not making the least preparation for war, being by nature unmanly,
as has been said before.[36] And they say that something else happened
to him, which terrified him exceedingly and reduced him to still greater
anxiety. I, for my part, do not credit this report, but even so it shall
be told. Theodatus even before this time had been prone to make
enquiries of those who professed to foretell the future, and on the
present occasion he was at a loss what to do in the situation which
confronted him--a state which more than anything else is accustomed to
drive men to seek prophecies; so he enquired of one of the Hebrews, who
had a great reputation for prophecy, what sort of an outcome the present
war would have. The Hebrew commanded him to confine three groups of ten
swine each in three huts, and after giving them respectively the names
of Goths, Romans, and the soldiers of the emperor, to wait quietly for
a certain number of days. And Theodatus did as he was told. And when the
appointed day had come, they both went into the huts and looked at the
swine; and they found that of those which had been given the name of
Goths all save two were dead, whereas all except a few were living of
those which had received the name of the emperor's soldiers; and as for
those which had been called Romans, it so happened that, although the
hair of all of them had fallen out, yet about half of them survived.
When Theodatus beheld this and divined the outcome of the war, a great
fear, they say, came upon him, since he knew well that it would
certainly be the fate of the Romans to die to half their number and be
deprived of their possessions, but that the Goths would be defeated and
their race reduced to a few, and that to the emperor would come, with
the loss of but a few of his soldiers, the victory in the war. And for
this reason, they say, Theodatus felt no impulse to enter into a
struggle with Belisarius. As for this story, then, let each one express
his views according to the belief or disbelief which he feels regarding

But Belisarius, as he besieged the Neapolitans both by land and by sea,
was beginning to be vexed. For he was coming to think that they would
never yield to him, and, furthermore, he could not hope that the city
would be captured, since he was finding that the difficulty of its
position was proving to be a very serious obstacle. And the loss of the
time which was being spent there distressed him, for he was making his
calculations so as to avoid being compelled to go against Theodatus and
Rome in the winter season. Indeed he had already even given orders to
the army to pack up, his intention being to depart from there as
quickly as possible. But while he was in the greatest perplexity, it
came to pass that he met with the following good fortune. One of the
Isaurians was seized with the desire to observe the construction of the
aqueduct, and to discover in what manner it provided the supply of water
to the city. So he entered it at a place far distant from the city,
where Belisarius had broken it open, and proceeded to walk along it,
finding no difficulty, since the water had stopped running because the
aqueduct had been broken open. But when he reached a point near the
circuit-wall, he came upon a large rock, not placed there by the hand of
man, but a part of the natural formation of the place. And those who had
built the aqueduct many years before, after they had attached the
masonry to this rock, proceeded to make a tunnel from that point on, not
sufficiently large, however, for a man to pass through, but large enough
to furnish a passage for the water. And for this reason it came about
that the channel of the aqueduct was not everywhere of the same breadth,
but one was confronted by a narrow place at that rock, impassable for a
man, especially if he wore armour or carried a shield. And when the
Isaurian observed this, it seemed to him not impossible for the army to
penetrate into the city, if they should make the tunnel at that point
broader by a little. But since he himself was a humble person, and never
had come into conversation with any of the commanders, he brought the
matter before Paucaris, an Isaurian, who had distinguished himself among
the guards of Belisarius. So Paucaris immediately reported the whole
matter to the general. And Belisarius, being pleased by the report, took
new courage, and by promising to reward the man with great sums of
money induced him to attempt the undertaking, and commanded him to
associate with himself some of the Isaurians and cut out a passage in
the rock as quickly as possible, taking care to allow no one to become
aware of what they were doing. Paucaris then selected some Isaurians who
were thoroughly suitable for the work, and secretly got inside the
aqueduct with them. And coming to the place where the rock caused the
passage to be narrow, they began their work, not cutting the rock with
picks or mattocks, lest by their blows they should reveal to the enemy
what they were doing, but scraping it very persistently with sharp
instruments of iron. And in a short time the work was done, so that a
man wearing a corselet and carrying a shield was able to go through at
that point.

But when all his arrangements were at length in complete readiness, the
thought occurred to Belisarius that if he should by act of war make his
entry into Naples with the army, the result would be that lives would be
lost and that all the other things would happen which usually attend the
capture of a city by an enemy. And straightway summoning Stephanus, he
spoke as follows: "Many times have I witnessed the capture of cities and
I am well acquainted with what takes place at such a time. For they slay
all the men of every age, and as for the women, though they beg to die,
they are not granted the boon of death, but are carried off for outrage
and are made to suffer treatment that is abominable and most pitiable.
And the children, who are thus deprived of their proper maintenance and
education, are forced to be slaves, and that, too, of the men who are
the most odious of all--those on whose hands they see the blood of
their fathers. And this is not all, my dear Stephanus, for I make no
mention of the conflagration which destroys all the property and blots
out the beauty of the city. When I see, as in the mirror of the cities
which have been captured in times past, this city of Naples falling
victim to such a fate, I am moved to pity both it and you its
inhabitants. For such means have now been perfected by me against the
city that its capture is inevitable. But I pray that an ancient city,
which has for ages been inhabited by both Christians and Romans, may not
meet with such a fortune, especially at my hands as commander of Roman
troops, not least because in my army are a multitude of barbarians, who
have lost brothers or relatives before the wall of this town; for the
fury of these men I should be unable to control, if they should capture
the city by act of war. While, therefore, it is still within your power
to choose and to put into effect that which will be to your advantage,
adopt the better course and escape misfortune; for when it falls upon
you, as it probably will, you will not justly blame fortune but your own
judgment." With these words Belisarius dismissed Stephanus. And he went
before the people of Naples weeping and reporting with bitter
lamentations all that he had heard Belisarius say. But they, since it
was not fated that the Neapolitans should become subjects of the emperor
without chastisement, neither became afraid nor did they decide to yield
to Belisarius.


[36] Chap. iii. 1.


Then at length Belisarius, on his part, made his preparations to enter
the city as follows. Selecting at nightfall about four hundred men and
appointing as commander over them Magnus, who led a detachment of
cavalry, and Ennes, the leader of the Isaurians, he commanded them all
to put on their corselets, take in hand their shields and swords, and
remain quiet until he himself should give the signal. And he summoned
Bessas[37] and gave him orders to stay with him, for he wished to
consult with him concerning a certain matter pertaining to the army. And
when it was well on in the night, he explained to Magnus and Ennes the
task before them, pointed out the place where he had previously broken
open the aqueduct, and ordered them to lead the four hundred men into
the city, taking lights with them And he sent with them two men skilled
in the use of the trumpet, so that as soon as they should get inside the
circuit-wall, they might be able both to throw the city into confusion
and to notify their own men what they were doing. And he himself was
holding in readiness a very great number of ladders which had been
constructed previously.

So these men entered the aqueduct and were proceeding toward the city,
while he with Bessas and Photius[38] remained at his post and with their
help was attending to all details. And he also sent to the camp,
commanding the men to remain awake and to keep their arms in their
hands. At the same time he kept near him a large force--men whom he
considered most courageous. Now of the men who were on their way to the
city above half became terrified at the danger and turned back. And
since Magnus could not persuade them to follow him, although he urged
them again and again, he returned with them to the general. And
Belisarius, after reviling these men, selected two hundred of the troops
at hand, and ordered them to go with Magnus. And Photius also, wishing
to lead them, leaped into the channel of the aqueduct, but Belisarius
prevented him. Then those who were fleeing from the danger, put to shame
by the railings of the general and of Photius, took heart to face it
once more and followed with the others. And Belisarius, fearing lest
their operations should be perceived by some of the enemy, who were
maintaining a guard on the tower which happened to be nearest to the
aqueduct, went to that place and commanded Bessas to carry on a
conversation in the Gothic tongue with the barbarians there, his purpose
being to prevent any clanging of the weapons from being audible to them.
And so Bessas shouted to them in a loud voice, urging the Goths to yield
to Belisarius and promising that they should have many rewards. But they
jeered at him, indulging in many insults directed at both Belisarius and
the emperor. Belisarius and Bessas, then, were thus occupied.

Now the aqueduct of Naples is not only covered until it reaches the
wall, but remains covered as it extends to a great distance inside the
city, being carried on a high arch of baked brick. Consequently, when
the men under the command of Magnus and Ennes had got inside the
fortifications, they were one and all unable even to conjecture where
in the world they were. Furthermore, they could not leave the aqueduct
at any point until the foremost of them came to a place where the
aqueduct chanced to be without a roof and where stood a building which
had entirely fallen into neglect. Inside this building a certain woman
had her dwelling, living alone with utter poverty as her only companion;
and an olive tree had grown out over the aqueduct. So when these men saw
the sky and perceived that they were in the midst of the city, they
began to plan how they might get out, but they had no means of leaving
the aqueduct either with or without their arms. For the structure
happened to be very high at that point and, besides, offered no means of
climbing to the top. But as the soldiers were in a state of great
perplexity and were beginning to crowd each other greatly as they
collected there (for already, as the men in the rear kept coming up, a
great throng was beginning to gather), the thought occurred to one of
them to make trial of the ascent. He immediately therefore laid down his
arms, and forcing his way up with hands and feet, reached the woman's
house. And seeing her there, he threatened to kill her unless she should
remain silent. And she was terror-stricken and remained speechless. He
then fastened to the trunk of the olive tree a strong strap, and threw
the other end of it into the aqueduct. So the soldiers, laying hold of
it one at a time, managed with difficulty to make the ascent. And after
all had come up and a fourth part of the night still remained, they
proceeded toward the wall; and they slew the garrison of two of the
towers before the men in them had an inkling of the trouble. These
towers were on the northern portion of the circuit-wall, where
Belisarius was stationed with Bessas and Photius, anxiously awaiting the
progress of events. So while the trumpeters were summoning the army to
the wall, Belisarius was placing the ladders against the fortifications
and commanding the soldiers to mount them. But it so happened that not
one of the ladders reached as far as the parapet. For since the workmen
had not made them in sight of the wall, they had not been able to arrive
at the proper measure. For this reason they bound two together, and it
was only by using both of them for the ascent that the soldiers got
above the level of the parapet. Such was the progress of these events
where Belisarius was engaged.

But on the side of the circuit-wall which faces the sea, where the
forces on guard were not barbarians, but Jews, the soldiers were unable
either to use the ladders or to scale the wall. For the Jews had already
given offence to their enemy by having opposed their efforts to capture
the city without a fight, and for this reason they had no hope if they
should fall into their hands; so they kept fighting stubbornly, although
they could see that the city had already been captured, and held out
beyond all expectation against the assaults of their opponents. But when
day came and some of those who had mounted the wall marched against
them, then at last they also, now that they were being shot at from
behind, took to flight, and Naples was captured by storm. By this time
the gates were thrown open and the whole Roman army came in. [L] But
those who were stationed about the gates which fronted the east, since,
as it happened, they had no ladders at hand, set fire to these gates,
which were altogether unguarded; for that part of the wall had been
deserted, the guards having taken to flight. And then a great slaughter
took place; for all of them were possessed with fury, especially those
who had chanced to have a brother or other relative slain in the
fighting at the wall. And they kept killing all whom they encountered,
sparing neither old nor young, and dashing into the houses they made
slaves of the women and children and secured the valuables as plunder;
and in this the Massagetae outdid all the rest, for they did not even
withhold their hand from the sanctuaries, but slew many of those who had
taken refuge in them, until Belisarius, visiting every part of the city,
put a stop to this, and calling all together, spoke as follows:

           [L] 536 A.D.

"Inasmuch as God has given us the victory and has permitted us to attain
the greatest height of glory, by putting under our hand a city which has
never been captured before, it behooves us on our part to shew ourselves
not unworthy of His grace, but by our humane treatment of the
vanquished, to make it plain that we have conquered these men justly. Do
not, therefore, hate the Neapolitans with a boundless hatred, and do not
allow your hostility toward them to continue beyond the limits of the
war. For when men have been vanquished, their victors never hate them
any longer. And by killing them you will not be ridding yourselves of
enemies for the future, but you will be suffering a loss through the
death of your subjects. Therefore, do these men no further harm, nor
continue to give way wholly to anger. For it is a disgrace to prevail
over the enemy and then to shew yourselves vanquished by passion. So let
all the possessions of these men suffice for you as the rewards of your
valour, but let their wives, together with the children, be given back
to the men. And let the conquered learn by experience what kind of
friends they have forfeited by reason of foolish counsel."

After speaking thus, Belisarius released to the Neapolitans their women
and children and the slaves, one and all, no insult having been
experienced by them, and he reconciled the soldiers to the citizens. And
thus it came to pass for the Neapolitans that on that day they both
became captives and regained their liberty, and that they recovered the
most precious of their possessions. For those of them who happened to
have gold or anything else of value had previously concealed it by
burying it in the earth, and in this way they succeeded in hiding from
the enemy the fact that in getting back their houses they were
recovering their money also. And the siege, which had lasted about
twenty days, ended thus. As for the Goths who were captured in the city,
not less than eight hundred in number, Belisarius put them under guard
and kept them from all harm, holding them in no less honour than his own

And Pastor, who had been leading the people upon a course of folly, as
has been previously[39] set forth by me, upon seeing the city captured,
fell into a fit of apoplexy and died suddenly, though he had neither
been ill before nor suffered any harm from anyone. But Asclepiodotus,
who was engaged in this intrigue with him, came before Belisarius with
those of the notables who survived. And Stephanus mocked and reviled him
with these words: "See, O basest of all men, what evils you have brought
to your fatherland, by selling the safety of the citizens for loyalty to
the Goths. And furthermore, if things had gone well for the barbarians,
you would have claimed the right to be yourself a hireling in their
service and to bring to court on the charge of trying to betray the city
to the Romans each one of us who have given the better counsel. But now
that the emperor has captured the city, and we have been saved by the
uprightness of this man, and you even so have had the hardihood
recklessly to come into the presence of the general as if you had done
no harm to the Neapolitans or to the emperor's army, you will meet with
the punishment you deserve." Such were the words which Stephanus, who
was deeply grieved by the misfortune of the city, hurled against
Asclepiodotus. And Asclepiodotus replied to him as follows: "Quite
unwittingly, noble Sir, you have been heaping praise upon us, when you
reproach us for our loyalty to the Goths. For no one could ever be loyal
to his masters when they are in danger, except it be by firm conviction.
As for me, then, the victors will have in me as true a guardian of the
state as they lately found in me an enemy, since he whom nature has
endowed with the quality of fidelity does not change his conviction when
he changes his fortune. But you, should their fortunes not continue to
prosper as before, would readily listen to the overtures of their
assailants. For he who has the disease of inconstancy of mind no sooner
takes fright than he denies his pledge to those most dear." Such were
the words of Asclepiodotus. But the populace of the Neapolitans, when
they saw him returning from Belisarius, gathered in a body and began to
charge him with responsibility for all that had befallen them. And they
did not leave him until they had killed him and torn his body into small
pieces. After that they came to the house of Pastor, seeking for the
man. And when the servants insisted that Pastor was dead, they were
quite unwilling to believe them until they were shown the man's body.
And the Neapolitans impaled him in the outskirts of the town. Then they
begged Belisarius to pardon them for what they had done while moved with
just anger, and receiving his forgiveness, they dispersed. Such was the
fate of the Neapolitans.


[37] Cf. chap. v. 3.

[38] Cf. chap. v. 5.

[39] Chap. viii. 22.


But the Goths who were at Rome and in the country round about had even
before this regarded with great amazement the inactivity of Theodatus,
because, though the enemy was in his neighbourhood, he was unwilling to
engage them in battle, and they felt among themselves much suspicion
toward him, believing that he was betraying the cause of the Goths to
the Emperor Justinian of his own free will, and cared for nothing else
than that he himself might live in quiet, possessed of as much money as
possible. Accordingly, when they heard that Naples had been captured,
they began immediately to make all these charges against him openly and
gathered at a place two hundred and eighty stades distant from Rome,
which the Romans call Regata.[40] And it seemed best to them to make
camp in that place; for there are extensive plains there which furnish
pasture for horses. And a river also flows by the place, which the
inhabitants call Decennovium[41] in the Latin tongue, because it flows
past nineteen milestones, a distance which amounts to one hundred and
thirteen stades, before it empties into the sea near the city of
Taracina; and very near that place is Mt. Circaeum, where they say
Odysseus met Circe, though the story seems to me untrustworthy, for
Homer declares that the habitation of Circe was on an island. This,
however, I am able to say, that this Mt. Circaeum, extending as it does
far into the sea, resembles an island, so that both to those who sail
close to it and to those who walk to the shore in the neighbourhood it
has every appearance of being an island. And only when a man gets on it
does he realize that he was deceived in his former opinion. And for this
reason Homer perhaps called the place an island. But I shall return to
the previous narrative.

The Goths, after gathering at Regata, chose as king over them and the
Italians Vittigis, a man who, though not of a conspicuous house, had
previously won great renown in the battles about Sirmium, when Theoderic
was carrying on the war against the Gepaedes.[42] Theodatus, therefore,
upon hearing this, rushed off in flight and took the road to Ravenna.
But Vittigis quickly sent Optaris, a Goth, instructing him to bring
Theodatus alive or dead. Now it happened that this Optaris was hostile
to Theodatus for the following cause. Optaris was wooing a certain young
woman who was an heiress and also exceedingly beautiful to look upon.
But Theodatus, being bribed to do so, took the woman he was wooing from
him, and betrothed her to another. And so, since he was not only
satisfying his own rage, but rendering a service to Vittigis as well, he
pursued Theodatus with great eagerness and enthusiasm, stopping neither
day nor night. And he overtook him while still on his way, laid him on
his back on the ground, and slew him like a victim for sacrifice. Such
was the end of Theodatus' life and of his rule, which had reached the
third year.[M]

            [M]Dec. 536 A.D.

And Vittigis, together with the Goths who were with him, marched to
Rome. And when he learned what had befallen Theodatus, he was pleased
and put Theodatus' son Theodegisclus under guard. But it seemed to him
that the preparations of the Goths were by no means complete, and for
this reason he thought it better first to go to Ravenna, and after
making everything ready there in the best possible way, then at length
to enter upon the war. He therefore called all the Goths together and
spoke as follows:

"The success of the greatest enterprises, fellow-soldiers, generally
depends, not upon hasty action at critical moments, but upon careful
planning. For many a time a policy of delay adopted at the opportune
moment has brought more benefit than the opposite course, and haste
displayed at an unseasonable time has upset for many men their hope of
success. For in most cases those who are unprepared, though they fight
on equal terms so far as their forces are concerned, are more easily
conquered than those who, with less strength, enter the struggle with
the best possible preparation. Let us not, therefore, be so lifted up by
the desire to win momentary honour as to do ourselves irreparable harm;
for it is better to suffer shame for a short time and by so doing gain
an undying glory, than to escape insult for the moment and thereby, as
would probably be the case, be left in obscurity for all after time. And
yet you doubtless know as well as I that the great body of the Goths and
practically our whole equipment of arms is in Gaul and Venetia and the
most distant lands. Furthermore, we are carrying on against the nations
of the Franks a war which is no less important than this one, and it is
great folly for us to proceed to another war without first settling that
one satisfactorily. For it is natural that those who become exposed to
attack on two sides and do not confine their attention to a single enemy
should be worsted by their opponents. But I say that we must now go
straight from here to Ravenna, and after bringing the war against the
Franks to an end and settling all our other affairs as well as possible,
then with the whole army of the Goths we must fight it out with
Belisarius. And let no one of you, I say, try to dissemble regarding
this withdrawal, nor hesitate to call it flight. For the title of
coward, fittingly applied, has saved many, while the reputation for
bravery which some men have gained at the wrong time, has afterward led
them to defeat. For it is not the names of things, but the advantage
which comes from what is done, that is worth seeking after. For a man's
worth is revealed by his deeds, not at their commencement, but at their
end. And those do not flee before the enemy who, when they have
increased their preparation, forthwith go against them, but those who
are so anxious to save their own lives for ever that they deliberately
stand aside. And regarding the capture of this city, let no fear come to
any one of you. For if, on the one hand, the Romans are loyal to us,
they will guard the city in security for the Goths, and they will not
experience any hardship, for we shall return to them in a short time.
And if, on the other hand, they harbour any suspicions toward us, they
will harm us less by receiving the enemy into the city; for it is better
to fight in the open against one's enemies. None the less I shall take
care that nothing of this sort shall happen. For we shall leave behind
many men and a most discreet leader, and they will be sufficient to
guard Rome so effectively that not only will the situation here be
favourable for us, but also that no harm may possibly come from this
withdrawal of ours."

Thus spoke Vittigis. And all the Goths expressed approval and prepared
for the journey. After this Vittigis exhorted at length Silverius, the
priest[43] of the city, and the senate and people of the Romans,
reminding them of the rule of Theoderic, and he urged upon all to be
loyal to the nation of the Goths, binding them by the most solemn oaths
to do so; and he chose out no fewer than four thousand men, and set in
command over them Leuderis, a man of mature years who enjoyed a great
reputation for discretion, that they might guard Rome for the Goths.
Then he set out for Ravenna with the rest of the army, keeping the most
of the senators with him as hostages. And when he had reached that
place, he made Matasuntha, the daughter of Amalasuntha, who was a maiden
now of marriageable age, his wedded wife, much against her will, in
order that he might make his rule more secure by marrying into the
family of Theoderic. After this he began to gather all the Goths from
every side and to organize and equip them, duly distributing arms and
horses to each one; and only the Goths who were engaged in garrison duty
in Gaul he was unable to summon, through fear of the Franks. These
Franks were called "Germani" in ancient times. And the manner in which
they first got a foothold in Gaul, and where they had lived before that,
and how they became hostile to the Goths, I shall now proceed to relate.


[40] Near Terracina.

[41] The name is made from _decem_ and _novem_, "nineteen,"--apparently
a late formation. The "river" was in reality a canal, extending from
Appii Forum to Terracina.

[42] Chap. iii. 15.

[43] Silverius was Pope 536-537 A.D.


As one sails from the ocean into the Mediterranean at Gadira, the land
on the left, as was stated in the preceding narrative,[44] is named
Europe, while the land opposite to this is called Libya, and, farther
on, Asia. Now as to the region beyond Libya[45] I am unable to speak
with accuracy;[46] for it is almost wholly destitute of men, and for
this reason the first source of the Nile, which they say flows from
that land toward Egypt, is quite unknown. But Europe at its very
beginning is exceedingly like the Peloponnesus, and fronts the sea on
either side. And the land which is first toward the ocean and the west
is named Spain, extending as far as the alps of the Pyrenees range. For
the men of this country are accustomed to call a narrow, shut-in pass
"alps." And the land from there on as far as the boundaries of Liguria
is called Gaul. And in that place other alps separate the Gauls and the
Ligurians. Gaul, however, is much broader than Spain, and naturally so,
because Europe, beginning with a narrow peninsula, gradually widens as
one advances until it attains an extraordinary breadth. And this land is
bounded by water on either side, being washed on the north by the ocean,
and having on the south the sea called the Tuscan Sea. And in Gaul there
flow numerous rivers, among which are the Rhone and the Rhine. But the
course of these two being in opposite directions, the one empties into
the Tuscan Sea, while the Rhine empties into the ocean. And there are
many lakes[47] in that region, and this is where the Germans lived of
old, a barbarous nation, not of much consequence in the beginning, who
are now called Franks. Next to these lived the Arborychi,[48] who,
together with all the rest of Gaul, and, indeed, Spain also, were
subjects of the Romans from of old. And beyond them toward the east were
settled the Thuringian barbarians, Augustus, the first emperor, having
given them this country.[49] And the Burgundians lived not far from them
toward the south,[50] and the Suevi[51] also lived beyond the
Thuringians, and the Alamani,[52] powerful nations. All these were
settled there as independent peoples in earlier times.

But as time went on, the Visigoths forced their way into the Roman
empire and seized all Spain and the portion of Gaul lying beyond[53] the
Rhone River and made them subject and tributary to themselves. By that
time it so happened that the Arborychi had become soldiers of the
Romans. And the Germans, wishing to make this people subject to
themselves, since their territory adjoined their own and they had
changed the government under which they had lived from of old, began to
plunder their land and, being eager to make war, marched against them
with their whole people. But the Arborychi proved their valour and
loyalty to the Romans and shewed themselves brave men in this war, and
since the Germans were not able to overcome them by force, they wished
to win them over and make the two peoples kin by intermarriage. This
suggestion the Arborychi received not at all unwillingly; for both, as
it happened, were Christians. And in this way they were united into one
people, and came to have great power.

Now other Roman soldiers, also, had been stationed at the frontiers of
Gaul to serve as guards. And these soldiers, having no means of
returning to Rome, and at the same time being unwilling to yield to
their enemy[54] who were Arians, gave themselves, together with their
military standards and the land which they had long been guarding for
the Romans, to the Arborychi and Germans; and they handed down to their
offspring all the customs of their fathers, which were thus preserved,
and this people has held them in sufficient reverence to guard them even
up to my time. For even at the present day they are clearly recognized
as belonging to the legions to which they were assigned when they served
in ancient times, and they always carry their own standards when they
enter battle, and always follow the customs of their fathers. And they
preserve the dress of the Romans in every particular, even as regards
their shoes.

Now as long as the Roman polity remained unchanged,[55] the emperor held
all Gaul as far as the Rhone River; but when Odoacer changed the
government into a tyranny, [N] then, since the tyrant yielded to them,
the Visigoths took possession of all Gaul as far as the alps which mark
the boundary between Gaul and Liguria. [O]But after the fall of Odoacer,
the Thuringians and the Visigoths began to fear the power of the
Germans, which was now growing greater (for their country had become
exceedingly populous and they were forcing into subjection without any
concealment those who from time to time came in their way), and so they
were eager to win the alliance of the Goths and Theoderic. And since
Theoderic wished to attach these peoples to himself, he did not refuse
to intermarry with them. Accordingly he betrothed to Alaric the younger,
who was then leader of the Visigoths, his own unmarried daughter
Theodichusa, and to Hermenefridus, the ruler of the Thuringians,
Amalaberga, the daughter of his sister Amalafrida. As a result of this
the Franks refrained from violence against these peoples through fear of
Theoderic, but they began a war against the Burgundians. But later on
the Franks and the Goths entered into an offensive alliance against the
Burgundians, agreeing that each of the two should send an army against
them; and it was further agreed that if either army should be absent
when the other took the field against the nation of the Burgundians and
overthrew them and gained the land which they had, then the victors
should receive as a penalty from those who had not joined in the
expedition a fixed sum of gold, and that only on these terms should the
conquered land belong to both peoples in common. So the Germans went
against the Burgundians with a great army according to the agreement
between themselves and the Goths; but Theoderic was still engaged with
his preparations, as he said, and purposely kept putting off the
departure of the army to the following day, and waiting for what would
come to pass. Finally, however, he sent the army, but commanded the
generals to march in a leisurely fashion, and if they should hear that
the Franks had been victorious, they were thenceforth to go quickly, but
if they should learn that any adversity had befallen them, they were to
proceed no farther, but remain where they were. So they proceeded to
carry out the commands of Theoderic, but meanwhile the Germans joined
battle alone with the Burgundians.[P] The battle was stubbornly
contested and a great slaughter took place on both sides, for the
struggle was very evenly matched; but finally the Franks routed their
enemy and drove them to the borders of the land which they inhabited at
that time, where they had many strongholds, while the Franks took
possession of all the rest. And the Goths, upon hearing this, were
quickly at hand. And when they were bitterly reproached by their allies,
they blamed the difficulty of the country, and laying down the amount of
the penalty, they divided the land with the victors according to the
agreement made. And thus the foresight of Theoderic was revealed more
clearly than ever, because, without losing a single one of his subjects,
he had with a little gold acquired half of the land of his enemy. Thus
it was that the Goths and Germans in the beginning got possession of a
certain part of Gaul.

            [N]476 A.D.
            [O]493 A.D.
            [P]534 A.D.

But later on, when the power of the Germans was growing greater, they
began to think slightingly of Theoderic and the fear he inspired, and
took the field against Alaric and the Visigoths. And when Alaric learned
this, he summoned Theoderic as quickly as possible. And he set out to
his assistance with a great army. In the meantime, the Visigoths, upon
learning that the Germans were in camp near the city of Carcasiana,[56]
went to meet them, and making a camp remained quiet. But since much time
was being spent by them in blocking the enemy in this way, they began to
be vexed, and seeing that their land was being plundered by the enemy,
they became indignant. And at length they began to heap many insults
upon Alaric, reviling him on account of his fear of the enemy and
taunting him with the delay of his father-in-law. For they declared that
they by themselves were a match for the enemy in battle and that even
though unaided they would easily overcome the Germans in the war. For
this reason Alaric was compelled to do battle with the enemy before the
Goths had as yet arrived. And the Germans, gaining the upper hand in
this engagement, killed the most of the Visigoths and their ruler
Alaric. [Q] Then they took possession of the greater part of Gaul and
held it; and they laid siege to Carcasiana with great enthusiasm,
because they had learned that the royal treasure was there, which Alaric
the elder in earlier times had taken as booty when he captured Rome.[57]
Among these were also the treasures of Solomon, the king of the Hebrews,
a most noteworthy sight. [R]For the most of them were adorned with
emeralds; and they had been taken from Jerusalem by the Romans in
ancient times.[58] Then the survivors of the Visigoths declared Giselic,
an illegitimate son of Alaric, ruler over them, Amalaric, the son of
Theoderic's daughter, being still a very young child. And afterwards,
when Theoderic had come with the army of the Goths, the Germans became
afraid and broke up the siege. So they retired from there and took
possession of the part of Gaul beyond the Rhone River as far as the
ocean. And Theoderic, being unable to drive them out from there,
allowed them to hold this territory, but he himself recovered the rest
of Gaul. Then, after Giselic had been put out of the way, he conferred
the rule of the Visigoths upon his grandson Amalaric, for whom, since he
was still a child, he himself acted as regent. And taking all the money
which lay in the city of Carcasiana, he marched quickly back to Ravenna;
furthermore, he continued to send commanders and armies into Gaul and
Spain, thus holding the real power of the government himself, and by way
of providing that he should hold it securely and permanently, he
ordained that the rulers of those countries should bring tribute to him.
And though he received this every year, in order not to give the
appearance of being greedy for money he sent it as an annual gift to the
army of the Goths and Visigoths. And as a result of this, the Goths and
Visigoths, as time went on, ruled as they were by one man and holding
the same land, betrothed their children to one another and thus joined
the two races in kinship.

            [Q]507 A.D.
            [R]410 A.D.

But afterwards, Theudis, a Goth, whom Theoderic had sent as commander of
the army, took to wife a woman from Spain; she was not, however, of the
race of the Visigoths, but belonged to the house of one of the wealthy
inhabitants of that land, and not only possessed great wealth but also
owned a large estate in Spain. From this estate he gathered about two
thousand soldiers and surrounded himself with a force of bodyguards, and
while in name he was a ruler over the Goths by the gift of Theoderic, he
was in fact an out and out tyrant. And Theoderic, who was wise and
experienced in the highest degree, was afraid to carry on a war against
his own slave, lest the Franks meanwhile should take the field against
him, as they naturally would, or the Visigoths on their part should
begin a revolution against him; accordingly he did not remove Theudis
from his office, but even continued to command him, whenever the army
went to war, to lead it forth. However, he directed the first men of the
Goths to write to Theudis that he would be acting justly and in a manner
worthy of his wisdom, if he should come to Ravenna and salute Theoderic.
Theudis, however, although he carried out all the commands of Theoderic
and never failed to send in the annual tribute, would not consent to go
to Ravenna, nor would he promise those who had written to him that he
would do so.


[44] Book III. i. 7.

[45] _i.e._ equatorial Africa.

[46] Cf. Book IV. xiii. 29.

[47] This vague statement is intended to describe the country west of
the Rhine, at that time a land of forests and swamps.

[48] The people whom Procopius names Arborychi must be the Armorici. If
so, they occupied the coast of what is now Belgium.

[49] Now south-eastern Germany.

[50] Now south-eastern France.

[51] Between the Germans and Burgundians.

[52] In modern Bavaria.

[53] _i.e._ west of the Rhone.

[54] _i.e._ the Visigoths.

[55] _i.e._ under a recognized imperial dynasty.

[56] In Gallia Narbonensis, modern Carcassone. Procopius has been
misled. The battle here described was fought in the neighbourhood of

[57] Cf. Book III. ii. 14-24.

[58] At the capture of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 A.D. The treasures here
mentioned were removed from Rome in 410 A.D. The remainder of the Jewish
treasure formed part of the spoil of Gizeric, the Vandal. Cf. Book IV.
ix. 5 and note.


After Theoderic had departed from the world,[S] the Franks, now that
there was no longer anyone to oppose them, took the field against the
Thuringians, and not only killed their leader Hermenefridus but also
reduced to subjection the entire people. But the wife of Hermenefridus
took her children and secretly made her escape, coming to Theodatus, her
brother, who was at that time ruling over the Goths. After this the
Germans made an attack upon the Burgundians who had survived the former
war,[59] and defeating them in battle confined their leader in one of
the fortresses of the country and kept him under guard, while they
reduced the people to subjection and compelled them, as prisoners of
war, to march with them from that time forth against their enemies, and
the whole land which the Burgundians had previously inhabited they made
subject and tributary to themselves. And Amalaric, who was ruling over
the Visigoths, upon coming to man's estate, became thoroughly frightened
at the power of the Germans and so took to wife the sister of
Theudibert, ruler of the Germans, and divided Gaul with the Goths and
his cousin Atalaric. The Goths, namely, received as their portion the
land to the east of the Rhone River, while that to the west fell under
the control of the Visigoths. And it was agreed that the tribute which
Theoderic had imposed should no longer be paid to the Goths, and
Atalaric honestly and justly restored to Amalaric all the money which he
had taken from the city of Carcasiana. Then, since these two nations had
united with one another by intermarriage, they allowed each man who had
espoused a wife of the other people to choose whether he wished to
follow his wife, or bring her among his own people. And there were many
who led their wives to the people they preferred and many also who were
led by their wives. But later on Amalaric, having given offence to his
wife's brother, suffered a great calamity. For while his wife was of the
orthodox faith, he himself followed the heresy of Arius, and he would
not allow her to hold to her customary beliefs or to perform the rites
of religion according to the tradition of her fathers, and, furthermore,
because she was unwilling to conform to his customs, he held her in
great dishonour. And since the woman was unable to bear this, she
disclosed the whole matter to her brother. For this reason, then, the
Germans and Visigoths entered into war with each other. [T]And the
battle which took place was for a long time very stoutly contested, but
finally Amalaric was defeated, losing many of his men, and was himself
slain. And Theudibert took his sister with all the money, and as much of
Gaul as the Visigoths held as their portion. And the survivors of the
vanquished emigrated from Gaul with their wives and children and went to
Theudis in Spain, who was already acting the tyrant openly. Thus did the
Goths and Germans gain possession of Gaul.

            [S]526 A.D.
            [T]531 A.D.

But at a later time[60] Theodatus, the ruler of the Goths, upon learning
that Belisarius had come to Sicily, made a compact with the Germans, in
which it was agreed that the Germans should have that portion of Gaul
which fell to the Goths, and should receive twenty centenaria[61] of
gold, and that in return they should assist the Goths in this war. But
before he had as yet carried out the agreement he fulfilled his
destiny.[U] It was for this reason, then, that many of the noblest of
the Goths, with Marcias as their leader, were keeping guard in Gaul. It
was these men whom Vittigis was unable to recall from Gaul,[62] and
indeed he did not think them numerous enough even to oppose the Franks,
who would, in all probability, overrun both Gaul and Italy, if he should
march with his whole army against Rome. He therefore called together all
who were loyal among the Goths and spoke as follows:

            [U]526 A.D.

"The advice which I have wished to give you, fellow-countrymen, in
bringing you together here at the present time, is not pleasant, but it
is necessary; and do you hear me kindly, and deliberate in a manner
befitting the situation which is upon us. For when affairs do not go as
men wish, it is inexpedient for them to go on with their present
arrangements in disregard of necessity or fortune. Now in all other
respects our preparations for war are in the best possible state. But
the Franks are an obstacle to us; against them, our ancient enemies, we
have indeed been spending both our lives and our money, but nevertheless
we have succeeded in holding our own up to the present time, since no
other hostile force has confronted us. But now that we are compelled to
go against another foe, it will be necessary to put an end to the war
against them, in the first place because, if they remain hostile to us,
they will certainly array themselves with Belisarius against us; for
those who have the same enemy are by the very nature of things induced
to enter into friendship and alliance with each other. In the second
place, even if we carry on the war separately against each army, we
shall in the end be defeated by both of them. It is better, therefore,
for us to accept a little loss and thus preserve the greatest part of
our kingdom, than in our eagerness to hold everything to be destroyed by
the enemy and lose at the same time the whole power of our supremacy. So
my opinion is that if we give the Germans the provinces of Gaul which
adjoin them, and together with this land all the money which Theodatus
agreed to give them, they will not only be turned from their enmity
against us, but will even lend us assistance in this war. But as to how
at a later time, when matters are going well for us, we may regain
possession of Gaul, let no one of you consider this question. For an
ancient saying[63] comes to my mind, which bids us 'settle well the
affairs of the present.'"

Upon hearing this speech the notables of the Goths, considering the plan
advantageous, wished it to be put into effect. Accordingly envoys were
immediately sent to the nation of the Germans, in order to give them the
lands of Gaul together with the gold, and to make an offensive and
defensive alliance. Now at that time the rulers of the Franks were
Ildibert, Theudibert, and Cloadarius, and they received Gaul and the
money, and divided the land among them according to the territory ruled
by each one, and they agreed to be exceedingly friendly to the Goths,
and secretly to send them auxiliary troops, not Franks, however, but
soldiers drawn from the nations subject to them. For they were unable to
make an alliance with them openly against the Romans, because they had a
little before agreed to assist the emperor in this war. So the envoys,
having accomplished the mission on which they had been sent, returned to
Ravenna. At that time also Vittigis summoned Marcias with his followers.


[59] Cf. chap. xii. 24 ff.

[60] Procopius resumes his narrative, which was interrupted by the
digression beginning in chap. xii.

[61] Cf. Book I. xxii. 4; III. vi. 2 and note.

[62] Cf. chap. xi. 28.

[63] Cf. Thuc. i. 35, [Greek: thesthai to paron], "to deal with the
actual situation"; Hor. _Od._ iii. 29, 32, "quod adest memento |


But while Vittigis was carrying on these negotiations, Belisarius was
preparing to go to Rome. He accordingly selected three hundred men from
the infantry forces with Herodian as their leader, and assigned them
the duty of guarding Naples. And he also sent to Cumae as large a
garrison as he thought would be sufficient to guard the fortress there.
For there was no stronghold in Campania except those at Cumae and at
Naples. It is in this city of Cumae that the inhabitants point out the
cave of the Sibyl, where they say her oracular shrine was; and Cumae is
on the sea, one hundred and twenty-eight stades distant from Naples.
Belisarius, then, was thus engaged in putting his army in order; but the
inhabitants of Rome, fearing lest all the calamities should befall them
which had befallen the Neapolitans, decided after considering the matter
that it was better to receive the emperor's army into the city. And more
than any other Silverius,[64] the chief priest of the city, urged them
to adopt this course. So they sent Fidelius, a native of Milan, which is
situated in Liguria, a man who had been previously an adviser of
Atalaric (such an official is called "quaestor"[65] by the Romans), and
invited Belisarius to come to Rome, promising to put the city into his
hands without a battle. So Belisarius led his army from Naples by the
Latin Way, leaving on the left the Appian Way, which Appius, the consul
of the Romans, had made nine hundred years before[66] and to which he
had given his name.

Now the Appian Way is in length a journey of five days for an
unencumbered traveller; for it extends from Rome to Capua. And the
breadth of this road is such that two waggons going in opposite
directions can pass one another, and it is one of the noteworthy sights
of the world. For all the stone, which is mill-stone[67] and hard by
nature, Appius quarried in another place[68] far away and brought there;
for it is not found anywhere in this district. And after working these
stones until they were smooth and flat, and cutting them to a polygonal
shape, he fastened them together without putting concrete or anything
else between them. And they were fastened together so securely and the
joints were so firmly closed, that they give the appearance, when one
looks at them, not of being fitted together, but of having grown
together. And after the passage of so long a time, and after being
traversed by many waggons and all kinds of animals every day, they have
neither separated at all at the joints, nor has any one of the stones
been worn out or reduced in thickness,--nay, they have not even lost any
of their polish. Such, then, is the Appian Way.

But as for the Goths who were keeping guard in Rome, it was not until
they learned that the enemy were very near and became aware of the
decision of the Romans, that they began to be concerned for the city,
and, being unable to meet the attacking army in battle, they were at a
loss; but later, with the permission of the Romans, they all departed
thence and proceeded to Ravenna, except that Leuderis, who commanded
them, being ashamed, I suppose, because of the situation in which he
found himself, remained there. And it so happened on that day that at
the very same time when Belisarius and the emperor's army were entering
Rome through the gate which they call the Asinarian Gate, the Goths were
withdrawing from the city through another gate which bears the name
Flaminian; and Rome became subject to the Romans again after a space of
sixty years, on the ninth day of the last month, which is called
"December" by the Romans, in the eleventh year of the reign of the
Emperor Justinian. [V] Now Belisarius sent Leuderis, the commander of
the Goths, and the keys of the gates to the emperor, but he himself
turned his attention to the circuit-wall, which had fallen into ruin in
many places; and he constructed each merlon of the battlement with a
wing, adding a sort of flanking wall on the left side,[69] in order that
those fighting from the battlement against their assailants might never
be hit by missiles thrown by those storming the wall on their left; and
he also dug a moat about the wall of sufficient depth to form a very
important part of the defences. And the Romans applauded the forethought
of the general and especially the experience displayed in the matter of
the battlement; but they marvelled greatly and were vexed that he should
have thought it possible for him to enter Rome if he had any idea that
he would be besieged, for it cannot possibly endure a siege because it
cannot be supplied with provisions, since it is not on the sea, is
enclosed by a wall of so huge a circumference,[70] and, above all, lying
as it does in a very level plain, is naturally exceedingly easy of
access for its assailants. But although Belisarius heard all these
criticisms, he nevertheless continued to make all his preparations for a
siege, and the grain which he had in his ships when he came from Sicily
he stored in public granaries and kept under guard, and he compelled all
the Romans, indignant though they were, to bring all their provisions in
from the country.

            [V]536 A.D.


[64] Cf. chap. xi. 26, note.

[65] The quaestor held an important position as counsellor ([Greek:
paredros]) of the emperor in legal matters. It was his function, also,
to formulate and publish new laws.

[66] Built in 312 B.C. by the censor, Appius Claudius.

[67] Chiefly basalt. As built by Appius, however, the surface was of
gravel; the stone blocks date from later years.

[68] Apparently an error, for lava quarries have been found along the

[69] _i.e._ on the left of the defender. The battlement, then, in
horizontal section, had this form |--|--|--, instead of the usual series
of straight merlons. Winged merlons were used on the walls of Pompeii;
for an excellent illustration see Overbeck, _Pompeji_^4, p. 46.

[70] _i.e._ too great to be defended at every point: the total length of
the circuit-wall was about twelve miles.


At that time Pitzas, a Goth, coming from Samnium, also put himself and
all the Goths who were living there with him into the hands of
Belisarius, as well as the half of that part of Samnium which lies on
the sea, as far as the river which flows through the middle of that
district.[71] For the Goths who were settled on the other side of the
river were neither willing to follow Pitzas nor to be subjects of the
emperor. And Belisarius gave him a small number of soldiers to help him
guard that territory. And before this the Calabrians and Apulians, since
no Goths were present in their land, had willingly submitted themselves
to Belisarius, both those on the coast and those who held the interior.

Among the interior towns is Beneventus,[72] which in ancient times the
Romans had named "Maleventus," but now they call it Beneventus, avoiding
the evil omen of the former name,[73] "ventus" having the meaning "wind"
in the Latin tongue. For in Dalmatia, which lies across from this city
on the opposite mainland, a wind of great violence and exceedingly wild
is wont to fall upon the country, and when this begins to blow, it is
impossible to find a man there who continues to travel on the road, but
all shut themselves up at home and wait. Such, indeed, is the force of
the wind that it seizes a man on horseback together with his horse and
carries him through the air, and then, after whirling him about in the
air to a great distance, it throws him down wherever he may chance to be
and kills him. And it so happens that Beneventus, being opposite to
Dalmatia, as I have said, and situated on rather high ground, gets some
of the disadvantage of this same wind. This city was built of old by
Diomedes, the son of Tydeus, when after the capture of Troy he was
repulsed from Argos. And he left to the city as a token the tusks of the
Calydonian boar, which his uncle Meleager had received as a prize of the
hunt, and they are there even up to my time, a noteworthy sight and well
worth seeing, measuring not less than three spans around and having the
form of a crescent. There, too, they say that Diomedes met Aeneas, the
son of Anchises, when he was coming from Ilium, and in obedience to the
oracle gave him the statue of Athena which he had seized as plunder in
company with Odysseus, when the two went into Troy as spies before the
city was captured by the Greeks. For they tell the story that when he
fell sick at a later time, and made enquiry concerning the disease, the
oracle responded that he would never be freed from his malady unless he
should give this statue to a man of Troy. And as to where in the world
the statue itself is, the Romans say they do not know, but even up to my
time they shew a copy of it chiselled on a certain stone in the temple
of Fortune, where it lies before the bronze statue of Athena, which is
set up under the open sky in the eastern part of the temple. And this
copy on the stone represents a female figure in the pose of a warrior
and extending her spear as if for combat; but in spite of this she has a
chiton reaching to the feet. But the face does not resemble the Greek
statues of Athena, but is altogether like the work of the ancient
Aegyptians. The Byzantines, however, say that the Emperor Constantine
dug up this statue in the forum which bears his name[74] and set it
there. So much, then, for this.

In this way Belisarius won over the whole of that part of Italy which is
south of the Ionian Gulf,[75] as far as Rome and Samnium, and the
territory north of the gulf, as far as Liburnia, had been gained by
Constantianus, as has been said.[76] But I shall now explain how Italy
is divided among the inhabitants of the land. The Adriatic Sea[77] sends
out a kind of outlet far into the continent and thus forms the Ionian
Gulf, but it does not, as in other places where the sea enters the
mainland, form an isthmus at its end. For example, the so-called
Crisaean Gulf, ending at Lechaeum, where the city of Corinth is, forms
the isthmus of that city, about forty stades in breadth; and the gulf
off the Hellespont, which they call the Black Gulf,[78] makes the
isthmus at the Chersonese no broader than the Corinthian, but of about
the same size. But from the city of Ravenna, where the Ionian Gulf ends,
to the Tuscan Sea is not less than eight days' journey for an
unencumbered traveller. And the reason is that the arm of the sea, as it
advances,[79] always inclines very far to the right. And below this gulf
the first town is Dryus,[80] which is now called Hydrus. And on the
right of this are the Calabrians, Apulians, and Samnites, and next to
them dwell the Piceni, whose territory extends as far as the city of
Ravenna. And on the other side are the remainder of the Calabrians, the
Bruttii, and the Lucani, beyond whom dwell the Campani as far as the
city of Taracina, and their territory is adjoined by that of Rome. These
peoples hold the shores of the two seas, and all the interior of that
part of Italy. And this is the country called Magna Graecia in former
times. For among the Bruttii are the Epizephyrian Locrians and the
inhabitants of Croton and Thurii. But north of the gulf the first
inhabitants are Greeks, called Epirotes, as far as the city of
Epidamnus, which is situated on the sea. And adjoining this is the land
of Precalis, beyond which is the territory called Dalmatia, all of
which is counted as part of the western empire. And beyond that point is
Liburnia,[81] and Istria, and the land of the Veneti extending to the
city of Ravenna. These countries are situated on the sea in that region.
But above them are the Siscii and Suevi (not those who are subjects of
the Franks, but another group), who inhabit the interior. And beyond
these are settled the Carnii and Norici. On the right of these dwell the
Dacians and Pannonians, who hold a number of towns, including
Singidunum[82] and Sirmium, and extend as far as the Ister River. Now
these peoples north of the Ionian Gulf were ruled by the Goths at the
beginning of this war, but beyond the city of Ravenna on the left of the
river Po the country was inhabited by the Ligurians.[83] And to the
north of them live the Albani in an exceedingly good land called
Langovilla, and beyond these are the nations subject to the Franks,
while the country to the west is held by the Gauls and after them the
Spaniards. On the right of the Po are Aemilia[84] and the Tuscan
peoples, which extend as far as the boundaries of Rome. So much, then,
for this.


[71] Probably either the Biferno or the Sangro.

[72] _sic_ Procopius. The customary form "Beneventum" shews less clearly
the derivation from "ventus" which Procopius favours. Other possible
explanations are "bene" + "venio" or "bene" + (suff.) "entum."

[73] Cf. Pliny III. xi. 16, § 105, who says that the name was originally
"Maleventum," on account of its unwholesome air.

[74] The Forum of Constantine was a short distance west of the
Hippodrome. One of its principle monuments, a huge porphyry column,
still stands and is known as the "Burnt Column."

[75] _i.e._ the Adriatic Sea; see note 4.

[76] Chap. vii. 36.

[77] By the "Adriatic" is meant the part of the Mediterranean which lies
between Africa on the south, Sicily and Italy on the west, and Greece
and Epirus on the east; Procopius' "Ionian Gulf" is therefore our
Adriatic Sea.

[78] Now the Gulf of Saros, north and west of the Gallipoli peninsula.

[79] _i.e._ to the north-west. Procopius means that the Adriatic should
incline at its upper end more toward the left (the west) in order to
form the isthmus which he is surprised to find lacking.

[80] Hydruntum; cf. Book III. i. 9, note.

[81] Modern Croatia.

[82] Modern Belgrade.

[83] Procopius seems to have erred: Liguria, as well as Aemilia (below),
was south of the Po. Cf. chap. xii. 4, where Liguria is represented as
extending to the Alps.

[84] Whose capital was Placentia (Piacenzo).


So Belisarius took possession of all the territory of Rome as far as the
river Tiber, and strengthened it. And when all had been settled by him
in the best possible manner, he gave to Constantinus a large number of
his own guards together with many spearmen, including the Massagetae
Zarter, Chorsomanus, and Aeschmanus, and an army besides, commanding him
to go into Tuscany, in order to win over the towns of that region. And
he gave orders to Bessas to take possession of Narnia, a very strong
city in Tuscany. Now this Bessas was a Goth by birth, one of those who
had dwelt in Thrace from of old and had not followed Theoderic when he
led the Gothic nation thence into Italy, and he was an energetic man and
a capable warrior. For he was both a general of the first rank, and a
skilful man in action. And Bessas took Narnia not at all against the
will of the inhabitants, and Constantinus won over Spolitium[85] and
Perusia[86] and certain other towns without any trouble. For the Tuscans
received him into their cities willingly. So after establishing a
garrison in Spolitium, he himself remained quietly with his army in
Perusia, the first city in Tuscany.

Now when Vittigis heard this, he sent against them an army with Unilas
and Pissas as its commanders. And Constantinus confronted these troops
in the outskirts of Perusia and engaged with them. The battle was at
first evenly disputed, since the barbarians were superior in numbers,
but afterwards the Romans by their valour gained the upper hand and
routed the enemy, and while they were fleeing in complete disorder the
Romans killed almost all of them; and they captured alive the commanders
of the enemy and sent them to Belisarius. Now when Vittigis heard this,
he was no longer willing to remain quietly in Ravenna, where he was
embarrassed by the absence of Marcias and his men, who had not yet come
from Gaul. So he sent to Dalmatia a great army with Asinarius and
Uligisalus as its commanders, in order to recover Dalmatia for the
Gothic rule. And he directed them to add to their own troops an army
from the land of the Suevi, composed of the barbarians there, and then
to proceed directly to Dalmatia and Salones. And he also sent with them
many ships of war, in order that they might be able to besiege Salones
both by land and by sea. But he himself was hastening to go with his
whole army against Belisarius and Rome, leading against him horsemen and
infantry to the number of not less than one hundred and fifty thousand,
and the most of them as well as their horses were clad in armour.

So Asinarius, upon reaching the country of the Suevi, began to gather
the army of the barbarians, while Uligisalus alone led the Goths into
Liburnia. And when the Romans engaged with them at a place called
Scardon, they were defeated in the battle and retired to the city of
Burnus; and there Uligisalus awaited his colleague. But Constantianus,
upon hearing of the preparations of Asinarius, became afraid for
Salones, and summoned the soldiers who were holding all the fortresses
in that region. He then dug a moat around the whole circuit-wall and
made all the other preparations for the siege in the best manner
possible. And Asinarius, after gathering an exceedingly large army of
barbarians, came to the city of Burnus. There he joined Uligisalus and
the Gothic army and proceeded to Salones. And they made a stockade about
the circuit-wall, and also, filling their ships with soldiers, kept
guard over the side of the fortifications which faced the sea. In this
manner they proceeded to besiege Salones both by land and by sea; but
the Romans suddenly made an attack upon the ships of the enemy and
turned them to flight, and many of them they sunk, men and all, and also
captured many without their crews. However, the Goths did not raise the
siege, but maintained it vigorously and kept the Romans still more
closely confined to the city than before. Such, then, were the fortunes
of the Roman and Gothic armies in Dalmatia.

But Vittigis, upon hearing from the natives who came from Rome that the
army which Belisarius had was very small, began to repent of his
withdrawal from Rome, and was no longer able to endure the situation,
but was now so carried away by fury that he advanced against them. And
on his way thither he fell in with a priest who was coming from Rome.
Whereupon they say that Vittigis in great excitement enquired of this
man whether Belisarius was still in Rome, shewing that he was afraid he
would not be able to catch him, but that Belisarius would forestall him
by running away. But the priest, they say, replied that he need not be
at all concerned about that; for he, the priest, was able to guarantee
that Belisarius would never resort to flight, but was remaining where he
was. But Vittigis, they say, kept hastening still more than before,
praying that he might see with his own eyes the walls of Rome before
Belisarius made his escape from the city.


[85] Modern Spoleto.

[86] Modern Perugia.


But Belisarius, when he heard that the Goths were marching against him
with their whole force, was in a dilemma. For he was unwilling, on the
one hand, to dispense with the troops of Constantinus and Bessas,
especially since his army was exceedingly small, and, on the other, it
seemed to him inexpedient to abandon the strongholds in Tuscany, lest
the Goths should hold these as fortresses against the Romans. So after
considering the matter he sent word to Constantinus and Bessas to leave
garrisons in the positions which absolutely required them, large enough
to guard them, while they themselves with the rest of the army should
come to Rome with all speed. And Constantinus acted accordingly. For he
established garrisons in Perusia and Spolitium, and with all the rest of
his troops marched off to Rome. But while Bessas, in a more leisurely
manner, was making his dispositions in Narnia, it so happened that,
since the enemy were passing that way, the plains in the outskirts of
the city were filled with Goths. These were an advance guard preceding
the rest of the army; and Bessas engaged with them and unexpectedly
routed those whom he encountered and killed many; but then, since he was
overpowered by their superior numbers, he retired into Narnia. And
leaving a garrison there according to the instructions of Belisarius,
he went with all speed to Rome, and reported that the enemy would be at
hand almost instantly. For Narnia is only three hundred and fifty stades
distant from Rome. But Vittigis made no attempt at all to capture
Perusia and Spolitium; for these places are exceedingly strong and he
was quite unwilling that his time should be wasted there, his one desire
having come to be to find Belisarius not yet fled from Rome. Moreover,
even when he learned that Narnia also was held by the enemy, he was
unwilling to attempt anything there, knowing that the place was
difficult of access and on steep ground besides; for it is situated on a
lofty hill. And the river Narnus flows by the foot of the hill, and it
is this which has given the city its name. There are two roads leading
up to the city, the one on the east, and the other on the west. One of
these is very narrow and difficult by reason of precipitous rocks, while
the other cannot be reached except by way of the bridge which spans the
river and provides a passage over it at that point. This bridge was
built by Caesar Augustus in early times, and is a very noteworthy sight;
for its arches are the highest of any known to us.

So Vittigis, not enduring to have his time wasted there, departed thence
with all speed and went with the whole army against Rome, making the
journey through Sabine territory. [W]And when he drew near to Rome, and
was not more than fourteen stades away from it, he came upon a bridge
over the Tiber River.[87] There a little while before Belisarius had
built a tower, furnished it with gates, and stationed in it a guard of
soldiers, not because this is the only point at which the Tiber could be
crossed by the enemy (for there are both boats and bridges at many
places along the river), but because he wished the enemy to have to
spend more time in the journey, since he was expecting another army from
the emperor, and also in order that the Romans might bring in still more
provisions. For if the barbarians, repulsed at that point, should try to
cross on a bridge somewhere else, he thought that not less than twenty
days would be consumed by them, and if they wished to launch boats in
the Tiber to the necessary number, a still longer time would probably be
wasted by them. These, then, were the considerations which led him to
establish the garrison at that point; and the Goths bivouacked there
that day, being at a loss and supposing that they would be obliged to
storm the tower on the following day; but twenty-two deserters came to
them, men who were barbarians by race but Roman soldiers, from the
cavalry troop commanded by Innocentius.[88] Just at that time it
occurred to Belisarius to establish a camp near the Tiber River, in
order that they might hinder still more the crossing of the enemy and
make some kind of a display of their own daring to their opponents. But
all the soldiers who, as has been stated, were keeping guard at the
bridge, being overcome with terror at the throng of Goths and quailing
at the magnitude of their danger, abandoned by night the tower they were
guarding and rushed off in flight. But thinking that they could not
enter Rome, they stealthily marched off toward Campania, either because
they were afraid of the punishment the general would inflict or because
they were ashamed to appear before their comrades.

            [W]Feb. 21, 537 A.D.


[87] The Mulvian Bridge.

[88] Cf. chap. v. 3.


On the following day the Goths destroyed the gates of the tower with no
trouble and made the crossing, since no one tried to oppose them. But
Belisarius, who had not as yet learned what had happened to the
garrison, was bringing up a thousand horsemen to the bridge over the
river, in order to look over the ground and decide where it would be
best for his forces to make camp. But when they had come rather close,
they met the enemy already across the river, and not at all willingly
they engaged with some of them. And the battle was carried on by
horsemen on both sides. Then Belisarius, though he was safe before,
would no longer keep the general's post, but began to fight in the front
ranks like a soldier; and consequently the cause of the Romans was
thrown into great danger, for the whole decision of the war rested with
him. But it happened that the horse he was riding at that time was
unusually experienced in warfare and knew well how to save his rider;
and his whole body was dark grey, except that his face from the top of
his head to the nostrils was the purest white. Such a horse the Greeks
call "phalius"[89] and the barbarians "balan." And it so happened that
the most of the Goths threw their javelins and other missiles at him and
at Belisarius for the following reason. Those deserters who on the
previous day had come to the Goths, when they saw Belisarius fighting in
the front ranks, knowing well that, if he should fall, the cause of the
Romans would be ruined instantly, cried aloud urging them to "shoot at
the white-faced horse." Consequently this saying was passed around and
reached the whole Gothic army, and they did not question it at all,
since they were in a great tumult of fighting, nor did they know clearly
that it referred to Belisarius. But conjecturing that it was not by mere
accident that the saying had gained such currency as to reach all, the
most of them, neglecting all others, began to shoot at Belisarius. And
every man among them who laid any claim to valour was immediately
possessed with a great eagerness to win honour, and getting as close as
possible they kept trying to lay hold of him and in a great fury kept
striking with their spears and swords. But Belisarius himself, turning
from side to side, kept killing as they came those who encountered him,
and he also profited very greatly by the loyalty of his own spearmen and
guards in this moment of danger. For they all surrounded him and made a
display of valour such, I imagine, as has never been shewn by any man in
the world to this day; for, holding out their shields in defence of both
the general and his horse, they not only received all the missiles, but
also forced back and beat off those who from time to time assailed him.
And thus the whole engagement was centred about the body of one man. In
this struggle there fell among the Goths no fewer than a thousand, and
they were men who fought in the front ranks; and of the household of
Belisarius many of the noblest were slain, and Maxentius, the spearman,
after making a display of great exploits against the enemy. But by some
chance Belisarius was neither wounded nor hit by a missile on that day,
although the battle was waged around him alone.

Finally by their valour the Romans turned the enemy to flight, and an
exceedingly great multitude of barbarians fled until they reached their
main army. For there the Gothic infantry, being entirely fresh,
withstood their enemy and forced them back without any trouble. And when
another body of cavalry in turn reinforced the Goths, the Romans fled at
top speed until they reached a certain hill, which they climbed, and
there held their position. But the enemy's horsemen were upon them
directly, and a second cavalry battle took place. There Valentinus, the
groom of Photius, the son of Antonina, made a remarkable exhibition of
valour. For by leaping alone into the throng of the enemy he opposed
himself to the onrush of the Goths and thus saved his companions. In
this way the Romans escaped, and arrived at the fortifications of Rome,
and the barbarians in pursuit pressed upon them as far as the wall by
the gate which has been named the Salarian Gate.[90] But the people of
Rome, fearing lest the enemy should rush in together with the fugitives
and thus get inside the fortifications, were quite unwilling to open the
gates, although Belisarius urged them again and again and called upon
them with threats to do so. For, on the one hand, those who peered out
of the tower were unable to recognise the man, for his face and his
whole head were covered with gore and dust, and at the same time no one
was able to see very clearly, either; for it was late in the day, about
sunset. Moreover, the Romans had no reason to suppose that the general
survived; for those who had come in flight from the rout which had taken
place earlier reported that Belisarius had died fighting bravely in the
front ranks. So the throng of the enemy, which had rushed up in strength
and possessed with great fury, were purposing to cross the moat
straightway and attack the fugitives there; and the Romans, finding
themselves massed along the wall, after they had come inside the moat,
and so close together that they touched one another, were being crowded
into a small space. Those inside the fortifications, however, since they
were without a general and altogether unprepared, and being in a panic
of fear for themselves and for the city, were quite unable to defend
their own men, although these were now in so perilous a situation.

Then a daring thought came to Belisarius, which unexpectedly saved the
day for the Romans. For urging on all his men he suddenly fell upon the
enemy. And they, even before this, had been in great disorder because
of the darkness and the fact that they were making a pursuit, and now
when, much to their surprise, they saw the fugitives attacking them,
they supposed that another army also had come to their assistance from
the city, and so were thrown into a great panic and all fled immediately
at top speed. But Belisarius by no means rushed out to pursue them, but
returned straightway to the wall. And at this the Romans took courage
and received him and all his men into the city. So narrowly did
Belisarius and the emperor's cause escape peril; and the battle which
had begun early in the morning did not end until night. And those who
distinguished themselves above all others by their valour in this battle
were, among the Romans, Belisarius, and among the Goths, Visandus
Vandalarius, who had fallen upon Belisarius at the first when the battle
took place about him, and did not desist until he had received thirteen
wounds on his body and fell. And since he was supposed to have died
immediately, he was not cared for by his companions, although they were
victorious, and he lay there with the dead. But on the third day, when
the barbarians had made camp hard by the circuit-wall of Rome and had
sent some men in order to bury their dead and to perform the customary
rites of burial, those who were searching out the bodies of the fallen
found Visandus Vandalarius with life still in him, and one of his
companions entreated him to speak some word to him. But he could not do
even this, for the inside of his body was on fire because of the lack of
food and the thirst caused by his suffering, and so he nodded to him to
put water into his mouth. Then when he had drunk and become himself
again, they lifted and carried him to the camp. And Visandus Vandalarius
won a great name for this deed among the Goths, and he lived on a very
considerable time, enjoying the greatest renown. This, then, took place
on the third day after the battle.

But at that time Belisarius, after reaching safety with his followers,
gathered the soldiers and almost the whole Roman populace to the wall,
and commanded them to burn many fires and keep watch throughout the
whole night. And going about the circuit of the fortifications, he set
everything in order and put one of his commanders in charge of each
gate. But Bessas, who took command of the guard at the gate called the
Praenestine,[91] sent a messenger to Belisarius with orders to say that
the city was held by the enemy, who had broken in through another gate
which is across the Tiber River[92] and bears the name of Pancratius, a
holy man. And all those who were in the company of Belisarius, upon
hearing this, urged him to save himself as quickly as possible through
some other gate. He, however, neither became panic-stricken, nor did he
hesitate to declare that the report was false. And he also sent some of
his horsemen across the Tiber with all speed, and they, after looking
over the ground there, brought back word that no hostile attack had been
made on the city in that quarter. He therefore sent immediately to each
gate and instructed the commanders everywhere that, whenever they heard
that the enemy had broken in at any other part of the fortifications,
they should not try to assist in the defence nor abandon their post, but
should remain quiet; for he himself would take care of such matters. And
he did this in order that they might not be thrown into disorder a
second time by a rumour which was not true.

But Vittigis, while the Romans were still in great confusion, sent to
the Salarian Gate[93] one of his commanders, Vacis by name, a man of no
mean station. And when he had arrived there, he began to reproach the
Romans for their faithlessness to the Goths and upbraided them for the
treason which he said they had committed against both their fatherland
and themselves, for they had exchanged the power of the Goths for Greeks
who were not able to defend them, although they had never before seen
any men of the Greek race come to Italy except actors of tragedy and
mimes and thieving sailors.[94] Such words and many like them were
spoken by Vacis, but since no one replied to him, he returned to the
Goths and Vittigis. As for Belisarius, he brought upon himself much
ridicule on the part of the Romans, for though he had barely escaped
from the enemy, he bade them take courage thenceforth and look with
contempt upon the barbarians; for he knew well, he said, that he would
conquer them decisively. Now the manner in which he had come to know
this with certainty will be told in the following narrative.[95] At
length, when it was well on in the night, Belisarius, who had been
fasting up to this time, was with difficulty compelled by his wife and
those of his friends who were present to taste a very little bread.
Thus, then, the two armies passed this night.

[Illustration: Based upon the plan in Hodgkin's "Italy and her
Invaders." Edward Stanford Ltd. London]


[89] Having a white spot, "White-face."

[90] See plan opposite p. 185.

[91] See plan opposite p. 185.

[92] For Procopius' description of the wall "across the Tiber," see
chap. xix. 6-10.

[93] See plan opposite p. 185.

[94] Cf. Book IV. xxvii. 38, note.

[95] Chap. xxvii. 25-29.


But on the following day they arrayed themselves for the struggle, the
Goths thinking to capture Rome by siege without any trouble on account
of the great size of the city, and the Romans defending it. Now the wall
of the city has fourteen large gates and several smaller ones. And the
Goths, being unable with their entire army to envelop the wall on every
side, made six fortified camps from which they harassed the portion of
the wall containing five gates, from the Flaminian as far as the one
called the Praenestine Gate; and all these camps were made by them on
the left bank of the Tiber River. Wherefore the barbarians feared lest
their enemy, by destroying the bridge which bears the name of Mulvius,
should render inaccessible to them all the land on the right bank of the
river as far as the sea, and in this way have not the slightest
experience of the evils of a siege, and so they fixed a seventh camp
across the Tiber in the Plain of Nero, in order that the bridge might be
between their two armies. So in this way two other gates came to be
exposed to the attacks of the enemy, the Aurelian[96] (which is now
named after Peter, the chief of the Apostles of Christ, since he lies
not far from there[97]) and the Transtiburtine Gate.[98] Thus the Goths
surrounded only about one-half of the wall with their army, but since
they were in no direction wholly shut off from the wall by the river,
they made attacks upon it throughout its whole extent whenever they

Now the way the Romans came to build the city-wall on both sides of the
river I shall now proceed to tell. In ancient times the Tiber used to
flow alongside the circuit-wall for a considerable distance, even at the
place where it is now enclosed. But this ground, on which the wall rises
along the stream of the river, is flat and very accessible. And opposite
this flat ground, across the Tiber, it happens that there is a great
hill[99] where all the mills of the city have been built from of old,
because much water is brought by an aqueduct to the crest of the hill,
and rushes thence down the incline with great force. For this reason the
ancient Romans[100] determined to surround the hill and the river bank
near it with a wall, so that it might never be possible for an enemy to
destroy the mills, and crossing the river, to carry on operations with
ease against the circuit-wall of the city. So they decided to span the
river at this point with a bridge, and to attach it to the wall; and by
building many houses in the district across the river they caused the
stream of the Tiber to be in the middle of the city. So much then for

And the Goths dug deep trenches about all their camps, and heaped up the
earth, which they took out from them, on the inner side of the trenches,
making this bank exceedingly high, and they planted great numbers of
sharp stakes on the top, thus making all their camps in no way inferior
to fortified strongholds. And the camp in the Plain of Nero was
commanded by Marcias (for he had by now arrived from Gaul with his
followers, with whom he was encamped there), and the rest of the camps
were commanded by Vittigis with five others; for there was one commander
for each camp. So the Goths, having taken their positions in this way,
tore open all the aqueducts, so that no water at all might enter the
city from them. Now the aqueducts of Rome are fourteen in number, and
were made of baked brick by the men of old, being of such breadth and
height that it is possible for a man on horseback to ride in them.[101]
And Belisarius arranged for the defence of the city in the following
manner. He himself held the small Pincian Gate and the gate next to this
on the right, which is named the Salarian. For at these gates the
circuit-wall was assailable, and at the same time it was possible for
the Romans to go out from them against the enemy. The Praenestine Gate
he gave to Bessas. And at the Flaminian, which is on the other side of
the Pincian, he put Constantinus in command, having previously closed
the gates and blocked them up most securely by building a wall of great
stones on the inside, so that it might be impossible for anyone to open
them. For since one of the camps was very near, he feared least some
secret plot against the city should be made there by the enemy. And the
remaining gates he ordered the commanders of the infantry forces to keep
under guard. And he closed each of the aqueducts as securely as possible
by filling their channels with masonry for a considerable distance, to
prevent anyone from entering through them from the outside to do

But after the aqueducts had been broken open, as I have stated, the
water no longer worked the mills, and the Romans were quite unable to
operate them with any kind of animals owing to the scarcity of all food
in time of siege; indeed they were scarcely able to provide for the
horses which were indispensable to them. And so Belisarius hit upon the
following device. Just below the bridge[102] which I lately mentioned as
being connected with the circuit-wall, he fastened ropes from the two
banks of the river and stretched them as tight as he could, and then
attached to them two boats side by side and two feet apart, where the
flow of the water comes down from the arch of the bridge with the
greatest force, and placing two mills on either boat, he hung between
them the mechanism by which mills are customarily turned. And below
these he fastened other boats, each attached to the one next behind in
order, and he set the water-wheels between them in the same manner for a
great distance. So by the force of the flowing water all the wheels, one
after the other, were made to revolve independently, and thus they
worked the mills with which they were connected and ground sufficient
flour for the city. Now when the enemy learned this from the deserters,
they destroyed the wheels in the following manner. They gathered large
trees and bodies of Romans newly slain and kept throwing them into the
river; and the most of these were carried with the current between the
boats and broke off the mill-wheels. But Belisarius, observing what was
being done, contrived the following device against it. He fastened
above the bridge long iron chains, which reached completely across the
Tiber. All the objects which the river brought down struck upon these
chains, and gathered there and went no farther. And those to whom this
work was assigned kept pulling out these objects as they came and bore
them to the land. And Belisarius did this, not so much on account of the
mills, as because he began to think with alarm that the enemy might get
inside the bridge at this point with many boats and be in the middle of
the city before their presence became known. Thus the barbarians
abandoned the attempt, since they met with no success in it. And
thereafter the Romans continued to use these mills; but they were
entirely excluded from the baths because of the scarcity of water.
However, they had sufficient water to drink, since even for those who
lived very far from the river it was possible to draw water from wells.
But as for the sewers, which carry out from the city whatever is
unclean, Belisarius was not forced to devise any plan of safety, for
they all discharge into the Tiber River, and therefore it was impossible
for any plot to be made against the city by the enemy in connection with


[96] This is an error. Procopius means the Porta Cornelia.

[97] According to tradition the Basilica of St. Peter was built over the
grave of the Apostle.

[98] The Aurelian.

[99] The Janiculum.

[100] The wall described was a part of the wall of Aurelian.

[101] This is an exaggeration; the channels vary from four to eight feet
in height.

[102] The Pons Aurelius. See section 10 of this chapter.


Thus, then, did Belisarius make his arrangements for the siege. And
among the Samnites a large company of children, who were pasturing
flocks in their own country, chose out two among them who were well
favoured in strength of body, and calling one of them by the name of
Belisarius, and naming the other Vittigis, bade them wrestle. And they
entered into the struggle with the greatest vehemence and it so fell out
that the one who impersonated Vittigis was thrown. Then the crowd of
boys in play hung him to a tree. But a wolf by some chance appeared
there, whereupon the boys all fled, and the one called Vittigis, who was
suspended from the tree, remained for some time suffering this
punishment and then died. And when this became known to the Samnites,
they did not inflict any punishment upon these children, but divining
the meaning of the incident declared that Belisarius would conquer
decisively. So much for this.

But the populace of Rome were entirely unacquainted with the evils of
war and siege. When, therefore, they began to be distressed by their
inability to bathe and the scarcity of provisions, and found themselves
obliged to forgo sleep in guarding the circuit-wall, and suspected that
the city would be captured at no distant date; and when, at the same
time, they saw the enemy plundering their fields and other possessions,
they began to be dissatisfied and indignant that they, who had done no
wrong, should suffer siege and be brought into peril of such magnitude.
And gathering in groups by themselves, they railed openly against
Belisarius, on the ground that he had dared to take the field against
the Goths before he had received an adequate force from the emperor. And
these reproaches against Belisarius were secretly indulged in also by
the members of the council which they call the senate. And Vittigis,
hearing all this from the deserters and desiring to embroil them with
one another still more, and thinking that in this way the affairs of the
Romans would be thrown into great confusion, sent to Belisarius some
envoys, among whom was Albis. And when these men came before Belisarius,
they spoke as follows in the presence of the Roman senators and all the
commanders of the army:

"From of old, general, mankind has made true and proper distinctions in
the names they give to things; and one of these distinctions is
this--rashness is different from bravery. For rashness, when it takes
possession of a man, brings him into danger with discredit, but bravery
bestows upon him an adequate prize in reputation for valour. Now one of
these two has brought you against us, but which it is you will
straightway make clear. For if, on the one hand, you placed your
confidence in bravery when you took the field against the Goths, there
is ample opportunity, noble sir, for you to do the deeds of a brave man,
since you have only to look down from your wall to see the army of the
enemy; but if, on the other hand, it was because you were possessed by
rashness that you came to attack us, certainly you now repent you of the
reckless undertaking. For the opinions of those who have made a
desperate venture are wont to undergo a change whenever they find
themselves in serious straits. Now, therefore, do not cause the
sufferings of these Romans to be prolonged any further, men whom
Theoderic fostered in a life not only of soft luxury but also of
freedom, and cease your resistance to him who is the master both of the
Goths and of the Italians. Is it not monstrous that you should sit in
Rome hemmed in as you are and in abject terror of the enemy, while the
king of this city passes his time in a fortified camp and inflicts the
evils of war upon his own subjects? But we shall give both you and your
followers an opportunity to take your departure forthwith in security,
retaining all your possessions. For to trample upon those who have
learned to take a new view of prudence we consider neither holy nor
worthy of the ways of men. And, further, we should gladly ask these
Romans what complaints they could have had against the Goths that they
betrayed both us and themselves, seeing that up to this time they have
enjoyed our kindness, and now are acquainted by experience with the
assistance to be expected from you."

Thus spoke the envoys. And Belisarius replied as follows: "It is not to
rest with you to choose the moment for conference. For men are by no
means wont to wage war according to the judgment of their enemies, but
it is customary for each one to arrange his own affairs for himself, in
whatever manner seems to him best. But I say to you that there will come
a time when you will want to hide your heads under the thistles but will
find no shelter anywhere. As for Rome, moreover, which we have captured,
in holding it we hold nothing which belongs to others, but it was you
who trespassed upon this city in former times, though it did not belong
to you at all, and now you have given it back, however unwillingly, to
its ancient possessors. And whoever of you has hopes of setting foot in
Rome without a fight is mistaken in his judgment. For as long as
Belisarius lives, it is impossible for him to relinquish this city."
Such were the words of Belisarius. But the Romans, being overcome by a
great fear, sat in silence, and, even though they were abused by the
envoys at length for their treason to the Goths, dared make no reply to
them, except, indeed, that Fidelius saw fit to taunt them. This man was
then praetorian prefect, having been appointed to the office by
Belisarius, and for this reason he seemed above all others to be well
disposed toward the emperor.


The envoys then betook themselves to their own army. And when Vittigis
enquired of them what manner of man Belisarius was and how his purpose
stood with regard to the question of withdrawing from Rome, they replied
that the Goths were hoping for vain things if they supposed that they
would frighten Belisarius in any way whatsoever. And when Vittigis heard
this, he began in great earnest to plan an assault upon the wall, and
the preparations he made for the attempt upon the fortifications were as
follows. He constructed wooden towers equal in height to the enemy's
wall, and he discovered its true measure by making many calculations
based upon the courses of stone. And wheels were attached to the floor
of these towers under each corner, which were intended, as they turned,
to move the towers to any point the attacking army might wish at a given
time, and the towers were drawn by oxen yoked together. After this he
made ready a great number of ladders, that would reach as far as the
parapet, and four engines which are called rams. Now this engine is of
the following sort. Four upright wooden beams, equal in length, are set
up opposite one another. To these beams they fit eight horizontal
timbers, four above and an equal number at the base, thus binding them
together. After they have thus made the frame of a four-sided building,
they surround it on all sides, not with walls of wood or stone, but with
a covering of hides, in order that the engine may be light for those who
draw it and that those within may still be in the least possible danger
of being shot by their opponents. And on the inside they hang another
horizontal beam from the top by means of chains which swing free, and
they keep it at about the middle of the interior. They then sharpen the
end of this beam and cover it with a large iron head, precisely as they
cover the round point of a missile, or they sometimes make the iron head
square like an anvil. And the whole structure is raised upon four
wheels, one being attached to each upright beam, and men to the number
of no fewer than fifty to each ram move it from the inside. Then when
they apply it to the wall, they draw back the beam which I have just
mentioned by turning a certain mechanism, and then they let it swing
forward with great force against the wall. And this beam by frequent
blows is able quite easily to batter down and tear open a wall wherever
it strikes, and it is for this reason that the engine has the name it
bears, because the striking end of the beam, projecting as it does, is
accustomed to butt against whatever it may encounter, precisely as do
the males among sheep. Such, then, are the rams used by the assailants
of a wall. And the Goths were holding in readiness an exceedingly great
number of bundles of faggots, which they had made of pieces of wood and
reeds, in order that by throwing them into the moat they might make the
ground level, and that their engines might not be prevented from
crossing it. Now after the Goths had made their preparations in this
manner, they were eager to make an assault upon the wall.

But Belisarius placed upon the towers engines which they call
"ballistae."[103] Now these engines have the form of a bow, but on the
under side of them a grooved wooden shaft projects; this shaft is so
fitted to the bow that it is free to move, and rests upon a straight
iron bed. So when men wish to shoot at the enemy with this, they make
the parts of the bow which form the ends bend toward one another by
means of a short rope fastened to them, and they place in the grooved
shaft the arrow, which is about one half the length of the ordinary
missiles which they shoot from bows, but about four times as wide.
However, it does not have feathers of the usual sort attached to it, but
by inserting thin pieces of wood in place of feathers, they give it in
all respects the form of an arrow, making the point which they put on
very large and in keeping with its thickness. And the men who stand on
either side wind it up tight by means of certain appliances, and then
the grooved shaft shoots forward and stops, but the missile is
discharged from the shaft,[104] and with such force that it attains
the distance of not less than two bow-shots, and that, when it hits a
tree or a rock, it pierces it easily. Such is the engine which bears
this name, being so called because it shoots with very great force.[105]
And they fixed other engines along the parapet of the wall adapted for
throwing stones. Now these resemble slings and are called "wild
asses."[106] And outside the gates they placed "wolves,"[107] which they
make in the following manner. They set up two timbers which reach from
the ground to the battlements; then they fit together beams which have
been mortised to one another, placing some upright and others crosswise,
so that the spaces between the intersections appear as a succession of
holes. And from every joint there projects a kind of beak, which
resembles very closely a thick goad. Then they fasten the cross-beams to
the two upright timbers, beginning at the top and letting them extend
half way down, and then lean the timbers back against the gates. And
whenever the enemy come up near them, those above lay hold of the ends
of the timbers and push, and these, falling suddenly upon the
assailants, easily kill with the projecting beaks as many as they may
catch. So Belisarius was thus engaged.


[103] Cf. The description of the ballista and other engines of war in
Ammianus Marcellinus, XXII. iv. The engine here described by Procopius
is the catapult of earlier times; the ballista hurled stones, not
arrows. See the Classical Dictionaries for illustrations.

[104] The "shaft" is a holder for the missile, and it (not the missile)
is driven by the bowstring. When the holder stops, the missile goes on.

[105] A popular etymology of [Greek: bállistra], a corrupted form of
[Greek: bállista]; the point is in the Greek words [Greek: bállo] +
[Greek: málista], an etymology correct only as far as [Greek: bállo] is

[106] Called also "scorpions"; described by Ammianus, _l.c._

[107] This contrivance was not one familiar to classical times. The
"lupi" of Livy XXVIII. iii. were hooks; Vegetius, _De Re Militari_, ii.
25 and iv. 23, mentions "lupi" (also hooks), used to put a battering-ram
out of action.


On the eighteenth day from the beginning of the siege the Goths moved
against the fortifications at about sunrise under the leadership of
Vittigis in order to assault the wall, and all the Romans were struck
with consternation at the sight of the advancing towers and rams, with
which they were altogether unfamiliar. But Belisarius, seeing the ranks
of the enemy as they advanced with the engines, began to laugh, and
commanded the soldiers to remain quiet and under no circumstances to
begin fighting until he himself should give the signal. Now the reason
why he laughed he did not reveal at the moment, but later it became
known. The Romans, however, supposing him to be hiding his real feelings
by a jest, abused him and called him shameless, and were indignant that
he did not try to check the enemy as they came forward. But when the
Goths came near the moat, the general first of all stretched his bow and
with a lucky aim hit in the neck and killed one of the men in armour who
were leading the army on. And he fell on his back mortally wounded,
while the whole Roman army raised an extraordinary shout such as was
never heard before, thinking that they had received an excellent omen.
And twice did Belisarius send forth his bolt, and the very same thing
happened again a second time, and the shouting rose still louder from
the circuit-wall, and the Romans thought that the enemy were conquered
already. Then Belisarius gave the signal for the whole army to put
their bows into action, but those near himself he commanded to shoot
only at the oxen. And all the oxen fell immediately, so that the enemy
could neither move the towers further nor in their perplexity do
anything to meet the emergency while the fighting was in progress. In
this way the forethought of Belisarius in not trying to check the enemy
while still at a great distance came to be understood, as well as the
reason why he had laughed at the simplicity of the barbarians, who had
been so thoughtless as to hope to bring oxen up to the enemy's wall. Now
all this took place at the Salarian Gate. But Vittigis, repulsed at this
point, left there a large force of Goths, making of them a very deep
phalanx and instructing the commanders on no condition to make an
assault upon the fortifications, but remaining in position to shoot
rapidly at the parapet, and give Belisarius no opportunity whatever to
take reinforcements to any other part of the wall which he himself might
propose to attack with a superior force; he then went to the Praenestine
Gate with a great force, to a part of the fortifications which the
Romans call the "Vivarium,"[108] where the wall was most assailable. Now
it so happened that engines of war were already there, including towers
and rams and a great number of ladders.

But in the meantime another Gothic assault was being made at the
Aurelian Gate[109] in the following manner. The tomb of the Roman
Emperor Hadrian[110] stands outside the Aurelian Gate, removed about a
stone's throw from the fortifications, a very noteworthy sight. For it
is made of Parian marble, and the stones fit closely one upon the other,
having nothing at all[111] between them. And it has four sides which are
all equal, each being about a stone's throw in length, while their
height exceeds that of the city wall; and above there are statues of the
same marble, representing men and horses, of wonderful workmanship.[112]
But since this tomb seemed to the men of ancient times a fortress
threatening the city, they enclosed it by two walls, which extend to it
from the circuit-wall,[113] and thus made it a part of the wall. And,
indeed, it gives the appearance of a high tower built as a bulwark
before the gate there. So the fortifications at that point were most
adequate. Now Constantinus, as it happened, had been appointed by
Belisarius to have charge of the garrison at this tomb. And he had
instructed him also to attend to the guarding of the adjoining wall,
which had a small and inconsiderable garrison. For, since that part of
the circuit-wall was the least assailable of all, because the river
flows along it, he supposed that no assault would be made there, and so
stationed an insignificant garrison at that place, and, since the
soldiers he had were few, he assigned the great majority to the
positions where there was most need of them. For the emperor's army
gathered in Rome at the beginning of this siege amounted at most to
only five thousand men. But since it was reported to Constantinus that
the enemy were attempting the crossing of the Tiber, he became fearful
for that part of the fortifications and went thither himself with all
speed, accompanied by some few men to lend assistance, commanding the
greater part of his men to attend to the guarding of the gate and the
tomb. But meanwhile the Goths began an assault upon the Aurelian Gate
and the Tower of Hadrian, and though they had no engines of war, they
brought up a great quantity of ladders, and thought that by shooting a
vast number of arrows they would very easily reduce the enemy to a state
of helplessness and overpower the garrison there without any trouble on
account of its small numbers. And as they advanced, they held before
them shields no smaller than the long shields used by the Persians, and
they succeeded in getting very close to their opponents without being
perceived by them. For they came hidden under the colonnade which
extends[114] to the church of the Apostle Peter. From that shelter they
suddenly appeared and began the attack, so that the guards were neither
able to use the engine called the ballista (for these engines do not
send their missiles except straight out), nor, indeed, could they ward
off their assailants with their arrows, since the situation was against
them on account of the large shields. But the Goths kept pressing
vigorously upon them, shooting many missiles at the battlements, and
they were already about to set their ladders against the wall, having
practically surrounded those who were fighting from the tomb; for
whenever the Goths advanced they always got in the rear of the Romans
on both flanks[115]; and for a short time consternation fell upon the
Romans, who knew not what means of defence they should employ to save
themselves, but afterwards by common agreement they broke in pieces the
most of the statues, which were very large, and taking up great numbers
of stones thus secured, threw them with both hands down upon the heads
of the enemy, who gave way before this shower of missiles. And as they
retreated a little way, the Romans, having by now the advantage, plucked
up courage, and with a mighty shout began to drive back their assailants
by using their bows and hurling stones at them. And putting their hands
to the engines, they reduced their opponents to great fear, and their
assault was quickly ended. And by this time Constantinus also was
present, having frightened back those who had tried the river and easily
driven them off, because they did not find the wall there entirely
unguarded, as they had supposed they would. And thus safety was restored
at the Aurelian Gate.[116]


[108] See chap. xxiii. 15-17 and note.

[109] Procopius errs again (cf. chap. xix. 4). He means the Porta

[110] Now called Castello di Sant' Angelo.

[111] _i.e._ No mortar or other binding material.

[112] The square structure was the base of the monument, each side
measuring 300 Roman feet in length and 85 feet in height. Above this
rose a cylindrical drum, surrounded by columns and carrying the statues,
and perhaps capped by a second drum. For details see Jordan,
_Topographie der Stadt Rom_, iii. 663 ff.

[113] Procopius neglects to say that the tomb was across the river from
the circuit-wall at this point, at the end of a bridge (Pons Aelius)
which faced the gate (Porta Cornelia) which he calls the Aurelian Gate.

[114] From the Pons Aelius.

[115] Because of the quadrangular shape of the building the Goths were
able to take their enemy in flank and in rear by advancing beyond the

[116] _i.e._ the Cornelian.


But at the gate beyond the Tiber River, which is called the Pancratian
Gate, a force of the enemy came, but accomplished nothing worth
mentioning because of the strength of the place; for the fortifications
of the city at this point are on a steep elevation and are not
favourably situated for assaults. Paulus was keeping guard there with an
infantry detachment which he commanded in person. In like manner they
made no attempt on the Flaminian Gate, because it is situated on a
precipitous slope and is not very easy of access. The "Reges,"[117] an
infantry detachment, were keeping guard there with Ursicinus, who
commanded them. And between this gate and the small gate next on the
right, which is called the Pincian, a certain portion of the wall had
split open of its own accord in ancient times, not clear to the ground,
however, but about half way down, but still it had not fallen or been
otherwise destroyed, though it leaned so to either side that one part of
it appeared outside the rest of the wall and the other inside. And from
this circumstance the Romans from ancient times have called the place
"Broken Wall"[118] in their own tongue. But when Belisarius in the
beginning undertook to tear down this portion and rebuild it, the Romans
prevented him, declaring that the Apostle Peter had promised them that
he would care for the guarding of the wall there. This Apostle is
reverenced by the Romans and held in awe above all others. And the
outcome of events at this place was in all respects what the Romans
contemplated and expected. For neither on that day nor throughout the
whole time during which the Goths were besieging Rome did any hostile
force come to that place, nor did any disturbance occur there. And we
marvelled indeed that it never occurred to us nor to the enemy to
remember this portion of the fortifications during the whole time,
either while they were making their assaults or carrying out their
designs against the wall by night; and yet many such attempts were made.
It was for this reason, in fact, that at a later time also no one
ventured to rebuild this part of the defences, but up to the present day
the wall there is split open in this way. So much, then, for this.

And at the Salarian Gate a Goth of goodly stature and a capable warrior,
wearing a corselet and having a helmet on his head, a man who was of no
mean station in the Gothic nation, refused to remain in the ranks with
his comrades, but stood by a tree and kept shooting many missiles at the
parapet. But this man by some chance was hit by a missile from an engine
which was on a tower at his left. And passing through the corselet and
the body of the man, the missile sank more than half its length into the
tree, and pinning him to the spot where it entered the tree, it
suspended him there a corpse. And when this was seen by the Goths they
fell into great fear, and getting outside the range of missiles, they
still remained in line, but no longer harassed those on the wall.

But Bessas and Peranius summoned Belisarius, since Vittigis was pressing
most vigorously upon them at the Vivarium. And he was fearful concerning
the wall there (for it was most assailable at that point, as has been
said[119]), and so came to the rescue himself with all speed, leaving
one of his friends at the Salarian Gate. And finding that the soldiers
in the Vivarium dreaded the attack of the enemy, which was being pressed
with great vigour and by very large numbers, he bade them look with
contempt upon the enemy and thus restored their confidence. Now the
ground there[120] was very level, and consequently the place lay open to
the attacks of any assailant. And for some reason the wall at that point
had crumbled a great deal, and to such an extent that the binding of the
bricks did not hold together very well. Consequently the ancient Romans
had built another wall of short length outside of it and encircling it,
not for the sake of safety (for it was neither strengthened with towers,
nor indeed was there any battlement built upon it, nor any other means
by which it would have been possible to repulse an enemy's assault upon
the fortifications), but in order to provide for an unseemly kind of
luxury, namely, that they might confine and keep there lions and other
wild animals. And it is for this reason that this place has been named
the Vivarium; for thus the Romans call a place where untamed animals are
regularly cared for. So Vittigis began to make ready various engines at
different places along the wall and commanded the Goths to mine the
outside wall, thinking that, if they should get inside that, they would
have no trouble in capturing the main wall, which he knew to be by no
means strong. But Belisarius, seeing that the enemy was undermining the
Vivarium and assaulting the fortifications at many places, neither
allowed the soldiers to defend the wall nor to remain at the
battlement, except a very few, although he had with him whatever men of
distinction the army contained. But he held them all in readiness below
about the gates, with their corselets on and carrying only swords in
their hands. And when the Goths, after making a breach in the wall, got
inside the Vivarium, he quickly sent Cyprian with some others into the
enclosure against them, commanding them to set to work. And they slew
all who had broken in, for these made no defence and at the same time
were being destroyed by one another in the cramped space about the exit.
And since the enemy were thrown into dismay by the sudden turn of events
and were not drawn up in order, but were rushing one in one direction
and one in another, Belisarius suddenly opened the gates of the
circuit-wall and sent out his entire army against his opponents. And the
Goths had not the least thought of resistance, but rushed off in flight
in any and every direction, while the Romans, following them up, found
no difficulty in killing all whom they fell in with, and the pursuit
proved a long one, since the Goths, in assaulting the wall at that
place, were far away from their own camps. Then Belisarius gave the
order to burn the enemy's engines, and the flames, rising to a great
height, naturally increased the consternation of the fugitives.

Meanwhile it chanced that the same thing happened at the Salarian Gate
also. For the Romans suddenly opened the gates and fell unexpectedly
upon the barbarians, and, as these made no resistance but turned their
backs, slew them; and they burned the engines of war which were within
their reach. And the flames at many parts of the wall rose to a great
height, and the Goths were already being forced to retire from the whole
circuit-wall; and the shouting on both sides was exceedingly loud, as
the men on the wall urged on the pursuers, and those in the camps
bewailed the overwhelming calamity they had suffered. Among the Goths
there perished on that day thirty thousand, as their leaders declared,
and a larger number were wounded; for since they were massed in great
numbers, those fighting from the battlement generally hit somebody when
they shot at them, and at the same time those who made the sallies
destroyed an extraordinary number of terrified and fleeing men. And the
fighting at the wall, which had commenced early in the morning, did not
end until late in the afternoon. During that night, then, both armies
bivouacked where they were, the Romans singing the song of victory on
the fortifications and lauding Belisarius to the skies, having with them
the spoils stripped from the fallen, while the Goths cared for their
wounded and bewailed their dead.


[117] "No doubt these are the same as the _Regii_, one of the seventeen
'Auxilia Palatina' under the command of the Magister Militum
Praesentalis, mentioned in the _Notitia Orientis_, chap. v."--HODGKIN.

[118] Murus Ruptus. "Here, to this day, notwithstanding some lamentable
and perfectly unnecessary 'restorations' of recent years, may be seen
some portions of the Muro Torto, a twisted, bulging, overhanging mass of
_opus reticulatum_."--HODGKIN.

[119] Chap. xxii. 10.

[120] The exact location is hard to determine; the majority of the
authorities agree on the location given in the plan (opposite p. 185),
near the Porta Labicana.


And Belisarius wrote a letter to the emperor of the following purport:
"We have arrived in Italy, as thou didst command, and we have made
ourselves masters of much territory in it and have taken possession of
Rome also, after driving out the barbarians who were here, whose leader,
Leuderis, I have recently sent to you. But since we have stationed a
great number of soldiers both in Sicily and in Italy to guard the
strongholds which we have proved able to capture, our army has in
consequence been reduced to only five thousand men. But the enemy have
come against us, gathered together to the number of one hundred and
fifty thousand. And first of all, when we went out to spy upon their
forces along the Tiber River and were compelled, contrary to our
intention, to engage with them, we lacked only a little of being buried
under a multitude of spears. And after this, when the barbarians
attacked the wall with their whole army and assaulted the fortifications
at every point with sundry engines of war, they came within a little of
capturing both us and the city at the first onset, and they would have
succeeded had not some chance snatched us from ruin. For achievements
which transcend the nature of things may not properly and fittingly be
ascribed to man's valour, but to a stronger power. Now all that has been
achieved by us hitherto, whether it has been due to some kind fortune or
to valour, is for the best; but as to our prospects from now on, I could
wish better things for thy cause. However, I shall never hide from you
anything that it is my duty to say and yours to do, knowing that while
human affairs follow whatever course may be in accordance with God's
will, yet those who are in charge of any enterprise always win praise or
blame according to their own deeds. Therefore let both arms and soldiers
be sent to us in such numbers that from now on we may engage with the
enemy in this war with an equality of strength. For one ought not to
trust everything to fortune, since fortune, on its part, is not given to
following the same course forever. But do thou, O Emperor, take this
thought to heart, that if at this time the barbarians win the victory
over us, we shall be cast out of Italy which is thine and shall lose the
army in addition, and besides all this we shall have to bear the shame,
however great it may be, that attaches to our conduct. For I refrain
from saying that we should also be regarded as having ruined the Romans,
men who have held their safety more lightly than their loyalty to thy
kingdom. Consequently, if this should happen, the result for us will be
that the successes we have won thus far will in the end prove to have
been but a prelude to calamities. For if it had so happened that we had
been repulsed from Rome and Campania and, at a much earlier time, from
Sicily, we should only be feeling the sting of the lightest of all
misfortunes, that of having found ourselves unable to grow wealthy on
the possessions of others. And again, this too is worthy of
consideration by you, that it has never been possible even for many
times ten thousand men to guard Rome for any considerable length of
time, since the city embraces a large territory, and, because it is not
on the sea, is shut off from all supplies. And although at the present
time the Romans are well disposed toward us, yet when their troubles are
prolonged, they will probably not hesitate to choose the course which is
better for their own interests. For when men have entered into
friendship with others on the spur of the moment, it is not while they
are in evil fortune, but while they prosper, that they are accustomed to
keep faith with them. Furthermore, the Romans will be compelled by
hunger to do many things they would prefer not to do. Now as for me, I
know I am bound even to die for thy kingdom, and for this reason no man
will ever be able to remove me from this city while I live; but I beg
thee to consider what kind of a fame such an end of Belisarius would
bring thee."

Such was the letter written by Belisarius. And the emperor, greatly
distressed, began in haste to gather an army and ships, and sent orders
to the troops of Valerian and Martinus[121] to proceed with all speed.
For they had been sent, as it happened, with another army at about the
winter solstice, with instructions to sail to Italy. But they had sailed
as far as Greece, and since they were unable to force their way any
farther, they were passing the winter in the land of Aetolia and
Acarnania. And the Emperor Justinian sent word of all this to
Belisarius, and thus filled him and all the Romans with still greater
courage and confirmed their zeal.

At this time it so happened that the following event took place in
Naples. There was in the market-place a picture of Theoderic, the ruler
of the Goths, made by means of sundry stones which were exceedingly
small and tinted with nearly every colour. At one time during the life
of Theoderic it had come to pass that the head of this picture fell
apart, the stones as they had been set having become disarranged without
having been touched by anyone, and by a coincidence Theoderic finished
his life forthwith. And eight years later the stones which formed the
body of the picture fell apart suddenly, and Atalaric, the grandson of
Theoderic, immediately died. And after the passage of a short time, the
stones about the groin fell to the ground, and Amalasuntha, the child
of Theoderic, passed from the world. Now these things had already
happened as described. But when the Goths began the siege of Rome, as
chance would have it, the portion of the picture from the thighs to the
tips of the feet fell into ruin, and thus the whole picture disappeared
from the wall. And the Romans, divining the meaning of the incident,
maintained that the emperor's army would be victorious in the war,
thinking that the feet of Theoderic were nothing else than the Gothic
people whom he ruled, and, in consequence, they became still more

In Rome, moreover, some of the patricians brought out the Sibylline
oracles,[122] declaring that the danger which had come to the city would
continue only up till the month of July. For it was fated that at that
time someone should be appointed king over the Romans, and thenceforth
Rome should have no longer any Getic peril to fear; for they say that
the Goths are of the Getic race. And the oracle was as follows: "In the
fifth (Quintilis) month . . . under . . . as king nothing Getic
longer. . . ." And they declared that the "fifth month" was July, some
because the siege began on the first day of March, from which July is
the fifth month, others because March was considered the first month
until the reign of Numa, the full year before that time containing ten
months and our July for this reason having its name Quintilis. But
after all, none of these predictions came true. For neither was a king
appointed over the Romans at that time, nor was the siege destined to be
broken up until a year later, and Rome was again to come into similar
perils in the reign of Totila, ruler of the Goths, as will be told by me
in the subsequent narrative.[123] For it seems to me that the oracle
does not indicate this present attack of the barbarians, but some other
attack which has either happened already or will come at some later
time. Indeed, in my opinion, it is impossible for a mortal man to
discover the meaning of the Sibyl's oracles before the actual event. The
reason for this I shall now set forth, having read all the oracles in
question. The Sibyl does not invariably mention events in their order,
much less construct a well-arranged narrative, but after uttering some
verse or other concerning the troubles in Libya she leaps straightway to
the land of Persia, thence proceeds to mention the Romans, and then
transfers the narrative to the Assyrians. And again, while uttering
prophecies about the Romans, she foretells the misfortunes of the
Britons. For this reason it is impossible for any man soever to
comprehend the oracles of the Sibyl before the event, and it is only
time itself, after the event has already come to pass and the words can
be tested by experience, that can shew itself an accurate interpreter of
her sayings. But as for these things, let each one reason as he desires.
But I shall return to the point from which I have strayed.


[121] Leaders of foederati; see Book III. xi. 4-6; they had been
recalled from Africa to Byzantium, cf. Book IV. xix. 2.

[122] The story of the origin of these oracles is given in Dionysius of
Halicarnassus, _Ant. Rom._ IV. lxii. They were burned with the Capitol
in 83 B.C. The second collection was burned by Stilicho in 405 A.D. The
oracles Procopius saw (cf. § 35 of this chapter) were therefore a third

[123] Book VII. xx.


When the Goths had been repulsed in the fight at the wall, each army
bivouacked that night in the manner already described.[124] But on the
following day Belisarius commanded all the Romans to remove their women
and children to Naples, and also such of their domestics as they thought
would not be needed by them for the guarding of the wall, his purpose
being, naturally, to forestall a scarcity of provisions. And he issued
orders to the soldiers to do the same thing, in case anyone had a male
or female attendant. For, he went on to say, he was no longer able while
besieged to provide them with food to the customary amount, but they
would have to accept one half their daily ration in actual supplies,
taking the remainder in silver. So they proceeded to carry out his
instructions. And immediately a great throng set out for Campania. Now
some, who had the good fortune to secure such boats as were lying at
anchor in the harbour[125] of Rome, secured passage, but the rest went
on foot by the road which is called the Appian Way. And no danger or
fear, as far as the besiegers were concerned, arose to disturb either
those who travelled this way on foot or those who set out from the
harbour. For, on the one hand, the enemy were unable to surround the
whole of Rome with their camps on account of the great size of the city,
and, on the other, they did not dare to be found far from the camps in
small companies, fearing the sallies of their opponents. And on this
account abundant opportunity was afforded for some time to the besieged
both to move out of the city and to bring provisions into it from
outside. And especially at night the barbarians were always in great
fear, and so they merely posted guards and remained quietly in their
camps. For parties were continually issuing from the city, and
especially Moors in great numbers, and whenever they found their enemies
either asleep or walking about in small companies (as is accustomed to
happen often in a large army, the men going out not only to attend to
the needs of nature, but also to pasture horses and mules and such
animals as are suitable for food), they would kill them and speedily
strip them, and if perchance a larger number of the enemy should fall
upon them, they would retire on the run, being men swift of foot by
nature and lightly equipped, and always distancing their pursuers in the
flight. Consequently, the great majority were able to withdraw from
Rome, and some went to Campania, some to Sicily, and others wherever
they thought it was easier or better to go. But Belisarius saw that the
number of soldiers at his command was by no means sufficient for the
whole circuit of the wall, for they were few, as I have previously
stated,[126] and the same men could not keep guard constantly without
sleeping, but some would naturally be taking their sleep while others
were stationed on guard. At the same time he saw that the greatest part
of the populace were hard pressed by poverty and in want of the
necessities of life; for since they were men who worked with their
hands, and all they had was what they got from day to day, and since
they had been compelled to be idle on account of the siege, they had no
means of procuring provisions. For these reasons Belisarius mingled
soldiers and citizens together and distributed them to each post,
appointing a certain fixed wage for an unenlisted man for each day. In
this way companies were made up which were sufficient for the guarding
of the wall, and the duty of keeping guard on the fortifications during
a stated night was assigned to each company, and the members of the
companies all took turns in standing guard. In this manner, then,
Belisarius did away with the distress of both soldiers and citizens.

But a suspicion arose against Silverius, the chief priest of the city,
that he was engaged in treasonable negotiations with the Goths, and
Belisarius sent him immediately to Greece, and a little later appointed
another man, Vigilius by name, to the office of chief priest. And he
banished from Rome on the same charge some of the senators, but later,
when the enemy had abandoned the siege and retired, he restored them
again to their homes. Among these was Maximus, whose ancestor
Maximus[127] had committed the crime against the Emperor Valentinian.
And fearing lest the guards at the gates should become involved in a
plot, and lest someone should gain access from the outside with intent
to corrupt them with money, twice in each month he destroyed all the
keys and had new ones made, each time of a different design, and he also
changed the guards to other posts which were far removed from those they
had formerly occupied, and every night he set different men in charge
of those who were doing guard-duty on the fortifications. And it was the
duty of these officers to make the rounds of a section of the wall,
taking turns in this work, and to write down the names of the guards,
and if anyone was missing from that section, they put another man on
duty in his stead for the moment, and on the morrow reported the missing
man to Belisarius himself, whoever he might be, in order that the
fitting punishment might be given him. And he ordered musicians to play
their instruments on the fortifications at night, and he continually
sent detachments of soldiers, especially Moors, outside the walls, whose
duty it was always to pass the night about the moat, and he sent dogs
with them in order that no one might approach the fortifications, even
at a distance, without being detected.

At that time some of the Romans attempted secretly to force open the
doors of the temple of Janus. This Janus was the first of the ancient
gods whom the Romans call in their own tongue "Penates."[128] And he has
his temple in that part of the forum in front of the senate-house which
lies a little above the "Tria Fata"[129]; for thus the Romans are
accustomed to call the Moirai.[130] And the temple is entirely of bronze
and was erected in the form of a square, but it is only large enough to
cover the statue of Janus. Now this statue, is of bronze, and not less
than five cubits high; in all other respects it resembles a man, but its
head has two faces, one of which is turned toward the east and the other
toward the west. And there are brazen doors fronting each face, which
the Romans in olden times were accustomed to close in time of peace and
prosperity, but when they had war they opened them. But when the Romans
came to honour, as truly as any others, the teachings of the Christians,
they gave up the custom of opening these doors, even when they were at
war. During this siege, however, some, I suppose, who had in mind the
old belief, attempted secretly to open them, but they did not succeed
entirely, and moved the doors only so far that they did not close
tightly against one another as formerly. And those who had attempted to
do this escaped detection; and no investigation of the act was made, as
was natural in a time of great confusion, since it did not become known
to the commanders, nor did it reach the ears of the multitude, except of
a very few.


[124] Chap. xxiii. 27.

[125] At this time the town of Portus, on the north side of the Tiber's
mouths, Ostia, on the south side, having been long neglected. Cf. chap.
xxvi. 7, 8.

[126] Five thousand; cf. chap. xxiv. 2.

[127] Book III. iv. 36.

[128] Janus was an old Italian divinity, whose worship was said to have
been introduced by Romulus. We are not told by anyone else that he was
included among the Penates, but the statement is doubtless true.

[129] "This temple of Janus--the most celebrated, but not the only one
in Rome--must have stood a little to the right of the Arch of Septimius
Severus (as one looks toward the Capitol) and a little in front of the
Mamertine Prison."--HODGKIN. The "Tria Fata" were three ancient statues
of Sibyls which stood by the Rostra.

[130] _i.e._ the Fates.


Now Vittigis, in his anger and perplexity, first sent some of his
bodyguards to Ravenna with orders to kill all the Roman senators whom he
had taken there at the beginning of this war. And some of them, learning
of this beforehand, succeeded in making their escape, among them being
Vergentinus and Reparatus, the brother of Vigilius, the chief priest of
Rome, both of whom betook themselves into Liguria and remained there;
but all the rest were destroyed. After this Vittigis, seeing that the
enemy were enjoying a large degree of freedom, not only in taking out of
the city whatever they wished, but also in bringing in provisions both
by land and by sea, decided to seize the harbour, which the Romans call

This harbour is distant from the city one hundred and twenty-six stades;
for Rome lacks only so much of being on the sea; and it is situated
where the Tiber River has its mouth.[131] Now as the Tiber flows down
from Rome, and reaches a point rather near the sea, about fifteen stades
from it, the stream divides into two parts and makes there the Sacred
Island, as it is called. As the river flows on the island becomes wider,
so that the measure of its breadth corresponds to its length, for the
two streams have between them a distance of fifteen stades; and the
Tiber remains navigable on both sides. Now the portion of the river on
the right empties into the harbour, and beyond the mouth the Romans in
ancient times built on the shore a city,[132] which is surrounded by an
exceedingly strong wall; and it is called, like the harbour, "Portus."
But on the left at the point where the other part of the Tiber empties
into the sea is situated the city of Ostia, lying beyond the place where
the river-bank ends, a place of great consequence in olden times, but
now entirely without walls. Moreover, the Romans at the very beginning
made a road leading from Portus to Rome, which was smooth and presented
no difficulty of any kind. And many barges are always anchored in the
harbour ready for service, and no small number of oxen stand in
readiness close by. Now when the merchants reach the harbour with their
ships, they unload their cargoes and place them in the barges, and sail
by way of the Tiber to Rome; but they do not use sails or oars at all,
for the boats cannot be propelled in the stream by any wind since the
river winds about exceedingly and does not follow a straight course, nor
can oars be employed, either, since the force of the current is always
against them. Instead of using such means, therefore, they fasten ropes
from the barges to the necks of oxen, and so draw them just like waggons
up to Rome. But on the other side of the river, as one goes from the
city of Ostia to Rome, the road is shut in by woods and in general lies
neglected, and is not even near the bank of the Tiber, since there is no
towing of barges on that road.

So the Goths, finding the city at the harbour unguarded, captured it at
the first onset and slew many of the Romans who lived there, and so took
possession of the harbour as well as the city. And they established a
thousand of their number there as guards, while the remainder returned
to the camps. In consequence of this move it was impossible for the
besieged to bring in the goods which came by sea, except by way of
Ostia, a route which naturally involved great labour and danger besides.
For the Roman ships were not even able to put in there any longer, but
they anchored at Anthium,[133] a day's journey distant from Ostia. And
they found great difficulty in carrying the cargoes thence to Rome, the
reason for this being the scarcity of men. For Belisarius, fearing for
the fortifications of Rome, had been unable to strengthen the harbour
with any garrison at all, though I think that if even three hundred men
had been on guard there, the barbarians would never have made an attempt
on the place, which is exceedingly strong.


[131] The northern mouth.

[132] The Emperor Claudius cut the northern channel for the river, in
order to prevent inundations of Rome, and made the "Portus Claudii,"
opening to the sea, near its mouth; a second enclosed harbour, adjoining
that of Claudius, was built by Trajan.

[133] _i.e._ Antium.


This exploit, then, was accomplished by the Goths on the third day after
they were repulsed in the assault on the wall. But twenty days after the
city and harbour of Portus were captured, Martinus and Valerian arrived,
bringing with them sixteen hundred horsemen, the most of whom were Huns
and Sclaveni[134] and Antae,[135] who are settled above the Ister River
not far from its banks. And Belisarius was pleased by their coming and
thought that thenceforth his army ought to carry the war against the
enemy. On the following day, accordingly, he commanded one of his own
bodyguards, Trajan by name, an impetuous and active fighter, to take two
hundred horsemen of the guards and go straight towards the enemy, and as
soon as they came near the camps to go up on a high hill (which he
pointed out to him) and remain quietly there. And if the enemy should
come against them, he was not to allow the battle to come to close
quarters, nor to touch sword or spear in any case, but to use bows only,
and as soon as he should find that his quiver had no more arrows in it,
he was to flee as hard as he could with no thought of shame and retire
to the fortifications on the run. Having given these instructions, he
held in readiness both the engines for shooting arrows and the men
skilled in their use. Then Trajan with the two hundred men went out from
the Salarian Gate against the camp of the enemy. And they, being filled
with amazement at the suddenness of the thing, rushed out from the
camps, each man equipping himself as well as he could. But the men under
Trajan galloped to the top of the hill which Belisarius had shewn them,
and from there began to ward off the barbarians with missiles. And since
their shafts fell among a dense throng, they were for the most part
successful in hitting a man or a horse. But when all their missiles had
at last failed them, they rode off to the rear with all speed, and the
Goths kept pressing upon them in pursuit. But when they came near the
fortifications, the operators of the engines began to shoot arrows from
them, and the barbarians became terrified and abandoned the pursuit. And
it is said that not less than one thousand Goths perished in this
action. A few days later Belisarius sent Mundilas, another of his own
bodyguard, and Diogenes, both exceptionally capable warriors, with three
hundred guardsmen, commanding them to do the same thing as the others
had done before. And they acted according to his instructions. Then,
when the enemy confronted them, the result of the encounter was that no
fewer than in the former action, perhaps even more, perished in the same
way. And sending even a third time the guardsman Oilas with three
hundred horsemen, with instructions to handle the enemy in the same way,
he accomplished the same result. So in making these three sallies, in
the manner told by me, Belisarius destroyed about four thousand of his

But Vittigis, failing to take into account the difference between the
two armies in point of equipment of arms and of practice in warlike
deeds, thought that he too would most easily inflict grave losses upon
the enemy, if only he should make his attack upon them with a small
force. He therefore sent five hundred horsemen, commanding them to go
close to the fortifications, and to make a demonstration against the
whole army of the enemy of the very same tactics as had time and again
been used against them, to their sorrow, by small bands of the foe. And
so, when they came to a high place not far from the city, but just
beyond the range of missiles, they took their stand there. But
Belisarius selected a thousand men, putting Bessas in command, and
ordered them to engage with the enemy. And this force, by forming a
circle around the enemy and always shooting at them from behind, killed
a large number, and by pressing hard upon the rest compelled them to
descend into the plain. There a hand-to-hand battle took place between
forces not evenly matched in strength, and most of the Goths were
destroyed, though some few with difficulty made their escape and
returned to their own camp. And Vittigis reviled these men, insisting
that cowardice had been the cause of their defeat, and undertaking to
find another set of men to retrieve the loss after no long time, he
remained quiet for the present; but three days later he selected men
from all the camps, five hundred in number, and bade them make a display
of valorous deeds against the enemy. Now as soon as Belisarius saw that
these men had come rather near, he sent out against them fifteen hundred
men under the commanders Martinus and Valerian. And a cavalry battle
taking place immediately, the Romans, being greatly superior to the
enemy in numbers, routed them without any trouble and destroyed
practically all of them.

And to the enemy it seemed in every way a dreadful thing and a proof
that fortune stood against them, if, when they were many and the enemy
who came against them were few, they were defeated, and when, on the
other hand, they in turn went in small numbers against their enemy, they
were likewise destroyed. Belisarius, however, received a public vote of
praise from the Romans for his wisdom, at which they not unnaturally
marvelled greatly, but in private his friends asked him on what he had
based his judgment on that day when he had escaped from the enemy after
being so completely defeated,[136] and why he had been confident that he
would overcome them decisively in the war. And he said that in engaging
with them at the first with only a few men he had noticed just what the
difference was between the two armies, so that if he should fight his
battles with them with a force which was in strength proportionate to
theirs,[137] the multitudes of the enemy could inflict no injury upon
the Romans by reason of the smallness of their numbers. And the
difference was this, that practically all the Romans and their allies,
the Huns, are good mounted bowmen, but not a man among the Goths has had
practice in this branch, for their horsemen are accustomed to use only
spears and swords, while their bowmen enter battle on foot and under
cover of the heavy-armed men. So the horsemen, unless the engagement is
at close quarters, have no means of defending themselves against
opponents who use the bow, and therefore can easily be reached by the
arrows and destroyed; and as for the foot-soldiers, they can never be
strong enough to make sallies against men on horseback. It was for these
reasons, Belisarius declared, that the barbarians had been defeated by
the Romans in these last engagements. And the Goths, remembering the
unexpected outcome of their own experiences, desisted thereafter from
assaulting the fortifications of Rome in small numbers and also from
pursuing the enemy when harassed by them, except only so far as to drive
them back from their own camps.


[134] _i.e._ Slavonians, described in Book VI. xxvi. and Book VII. xiv.

[135] A Slavic people, described in Book VII. xiv.

[136] Referring to the battle described in chap. xviii.

[137] _i.e._ smaller, but equal in strength.


But later on the Romans, elated by the good fortune they had already
enjoyed, were with one accord eager to do battle with the whole Gothic
army and thought that they should make war in the open field.
Belisarius, however, considering that the difference in size of the two
armies was still very great, continued to be reluctant to risk a
decisive battle with his whole army; and so he busied himself still more
with his sallies and kept planning them against the enemy. But when at
last he yielded his point because of the abuse heaped upon him by the
army and the Romans in general, though he was willing to fight with the
whole army, yet nevertheless he wished to open the engagement by a
sudden sally. And many times he was frustrated when he was on the point
of doing this, and was compelled to put off the attack to the following
day, because he found to his surprise that the enemy had been previously
informed by deserters as to what was to be done and were unexpectedly
ready for him. For this reason, then, he was now willing to fight a
decisive battle even in the open field, and the barbarians gladly came
forth for the encounter. And when both sides had been made ready for the
conflict as well as might be, Belisarius gathered his whole army and
exhorted them as follows:

"It is not because I detected any cowardice on your part,
fellow-soldiers, nor because I was terrified at the strength of the
enemy, that I have shrunk from the engagement with them, but I saw that
while we were carrying on the war by making sudden sallies matters stood
well with us, and consequently I thought that we ought to adhere
permanently to the tactics which were responsible for our success. For I
think that when one's present affairs are going to one's satisfaction,
it is inexpedient to change to another course of action. But since I see
that you are eager for this danger, I am filled with confidence and
shall never oppose your ardour. For I know that the greatest factor in
the decision of war is always the attitude of the fighting men, and it
is generally by their enthusiasm that successes are won. Now, therefore,
the fact that a few men drawn up for battle with valour on their side
are able to overcome a multitude of the enemy, is well known by every
man of you, not by hearsay, but by daily experience of fighting. And it
will rest with you not to bring shame upon the former glories of my
career as general, nor upon the hope which this enthusiasm of yours
inspires. For the whole of what has already been accomplished by us in
this war must of necessity be judged in accordance with the issue of the
present day. And I see that the present moment is also in our favour,
for it will, in all probability, make it easier for us to gain the
mastery over the enemy, because their spirit has been enslaved by what
has gone before. For when men have often met with misfortune, their
hearts are no longer wont to thrill even slightly with manly valour. And
let no one of you spare horse or bow or any weapon. For I will
immediately provide you with others in place of all that are destroyed
in the battle."

After speaking these words of exhortation, Belisarius led out his army
through the small Pincian Gate and the Salarian Gate, and commanded some
few men to go through the Aurelian Gate into the Plain of Nero. These he
put under the command of Valentinus, a commander of a cavalry
detachment, and he directed him not to begin any fighting, or to go too
close to the camp of the enemy, but constantly to give the appearance of
being about to attack immediately, so that none of the enemy in that
quarter might be able to cross the neighbouring bridge and come to the
assistance of the soldiers from the other camps. For since, as I have
previously stated,[138] the barbarians encamped in the Plain of Nero
were many, it seemed to him sufficient if these should all be prevented
from taking part in the engagement and be kept separated from the rest
of the army. And when some of the Roman populace took up arms and
followed as volunteers, he would not allow them to be drawn up for
battle along with the regular troops, fearing lest, when they came to
actual fighting, they should become terrified at the danger and throw
the entire army into confusion, since they were labouring men and
altogether unpractised in war. But outside the Pancratian Gate, which is
beyond the Tiber River, he ordered them to form a phalanx and remain
quiet until he himself should give the signal, reasoning, as actually
proved to be the case, that if the enemy in the Plain of Nero should see
both them and the men under Valentinus, they would never dare leave
their camp and enter battle with the rest of the Gothic army against his
own forces. And he considered it a stroke of good luck and a very
important advantage that such a large number of men should be kept apart
from the army of his opponents.

Such being the situation, he wished on that day to engage in a cavalry
battle only; and indeed most of the regular infantry were now unwilling
to remain in their accustomed condition, but, since they had captured
horses as booty from the enemy and had become not unpractised in
horsemanship, they were now mounted. And since the infantry were few in
number and unable even to make a phalanx of any consequence, and had
never had the courage to engage with the barbarians, but always turned
to flight at the first onset, he considered it unsafe to draw them up at
a distance from the fortifications, but thought it best that they should
remain in position where they were, close by the moat, his purpose being
that, if it should so happen that the Roman horsemen were routed, they
should be able to receive the fugitives and, as a fresh body of men,
help them to ward off the enemy.

But there were two men among his bodyguards, a certain Principius, who
was a man of note and a Pisidian by birth, and Tarmutus, an Isaurian,
brother of Ennes who was commander of the Isaurians. These men came
before Belisarius and spoke as follows: "Most excellent of generals, we
beg you neither to decide that your army, small as it is and about to
fight with many tens of thousands of barbarians, be cut off from the
phalanx of the infantry, nor to think that one ought to treat with
contumely the infantry of the Romans, by means of which, as we hear, the
power of the ancient Romans was brought to its present greatness. For if
it so happens that they have done nothing of consequence in this war,
this is no evidence of the cowardice of the soldiers, but it is the
commanders of the infantry who would justly bear the blame, for they
alone ride on horseback in the battle-line and are not willing to
consider the fortunes of war as shared by all, but as a general thing
each one of them by himself takes to flight before the struggle begins.
But do you keep all the commanders of infantry, since you see that they
have become cavalry and that they are quite unwilling to take their
stand beside their subordinates, and include them with the rest of the
cavalry and so enter this battle, but permit us to lead the infantry
into the combat. For since we also are unmounted, as are these troops,
we shall do our part in helping them to support the attack of the
multitude of barbarians, full of hope that we shall inflict upon the
enemy whatever chastisement God shall permit."

When Belisarius heard this request, at first he did not assent to it;
for he was exceedingly fond of these two men, who were fighters of
marked excellence, and he was unwilling to have a small body of infantry
take such a risk. But finally, overborne by the eagerness of the men, he
consented to leave only a small number of their soldiers, in company
with the Roman populace, to man the gates and the battlement along the
top of the wall where the engines of war were, and to put the rest under
command of Principius and Tarmutus, ordering them to take position in
the rear in regular formation. His purpose in this was, in the first
place, to keep these troops from throwing the rest of the army into
confusion if they themselves should become panic-stricken at the danger,
and, in the second place, in case any division of the cavalry should be
routed at any time, to prevent the retreat from extending to an
indefinite distance, but to allow the cavalry simply to fall back upon
the infantry and make it possible for them, with the infantry's help, to
ward off the pursuers.


[138] Chap. xix. 12, xiii. 15.


In this fashion the Romans had made their preparations for the
encounter. As for Vittigis, he had armed all the Goths, leaving not a
man behind in the camps, except those unfit for fighting. And he
commanded the men under Marcias to remain in the Plain of Nero, and to
attend to the guarding of the bridge, that the enemy might not attack
his men from that direction. He himself then called together the rest of
the army and spoke as follows:

"It may perhaps seem to some of you that I am fearful about my
sovereignty, and that this is the motive which has led me, in the past,
to shew a friendly spirit toward you and, on the present occasion, to
address you with seductive words in order to inspire you with courage.
And such reasoning is not out of accord with the ways of men. For
unenlightened men are accustomed to shew gentleness toward those whom
they want to make use of, even though these happen to be in a much
humbler station than they, but to be difficult of access to others whose
assistance they do not desire. As for me, however, I care neither for
the end of life nor for the loss of power. Nay, I should even pray that
I might put off this purple to-day, if a Goth were to put it on. And I
have always regarded the end of Theodatus as one of the most fortunate,
in that he was privileged to lose both his sovereignty and his life at
the hands of men of his own nation. For a calamity which falls upon an
individual without involving his nation also in destruction does not
lack an element of consolation, in the view, at least, of men who are
not wanting in wisdom. But when I reflect upon the fate of the Vandals
and the end of Gelimer, the thoughts which come to my mind are of no
ordinary kind; nay, I seem to see the Goths and their children reduced
to slavery, your wives ministering in the most shameful of all ways to
the most hateful of men, and myself and the granddaughter[139] of
Theoderic led wherever it suits the pleasure of those who are now our
enemies; and I would have you also enter this battle fearing lest this
fate befall us. For if you do this, on the field of battle you will
count the end of life as more to be desired than safety after defeat.
For noble men consider that there is only one misfortune--to survive
defeat at the hands of their enemy. But as for death, and especially
death which comes quickly, it always brings happiness to those who were
before not blest by fortune. It is very clear that if you keep these
thoughts in mind as you go through the present engagement, you will not
only conquer your opponents most easily, few as they are and
Greeks,[140] but will also punish them forthwith for the injustice and
insolence with which they, without provocation, have treated us. For
although we boast that we are their superiors in valour, in numbers, and
in every other respect, the boldness which they feel in confronting us
is due merely to elation at our misfortunes; and the only asset they
have is the indifference we have shewn. For their self-confidence is fed
by their undeserved good fortune."

With these words of exhortation Vittigis proceeded to array his army for
battle, stationing the infantry in the centre and the cavalry on the two
wings. He did not, however, draw up his phalanx far from the camps, but
very near them, in order that, as soon as the rout should take place,
the enemy might easily be overtaken and killed, there being abundance of
room for the pursuit. For he expected that if the struggle should become
a pitched battle in the plain, they would not withstand him even a short
time; since he judged by the great disparity of numbers that the army of
the enemy was no match for his own.

So the soldiers on both sides, beginning in the early morning, opened
battle; and Vittigis and Belisarius were in the rear urging on both
armies and inciting them to fortitude. And at first the Roman arms
prevailed, and the barbarians kept falling in great numbers before their
archery, but no pursuit of them was made. For since the Gothic cavalry
stood in dense masses, other men very easily stepped into the places of
those who were killed, and so the loss of those who fell among them was
in no way apparent. And the Romans evidently were satisfied, in view of
their very small number, that the struggle should have such a result for
them. So after they had by midday carried the battle as far as the camps
of their opponents, and had already slain many of the enemy, they were
anxious to return to the city if any pretext should present itself to
them. In this part of the action three among the Romans proved
themselves brave men above all others, Athenodorus, an Isaurian, a man
of fair fame among the guards of Belisarius, and Theodoriscus and
George, spearmen of Martinus and Cappadocians by birth. For they
constantly kept going out beyond the front of the phalanx, and there
despatched many of the barbarians with their spears. Such was the
course of events here.

But in the Plain of Nero the two armies remained for a long time facing
one another, and the Moors, by making constant sallies and hurling their
javelins among the enemy, kept harrying the Goths. For the Goths were
quite unwilling to go out against them through fear of the forces of the
Roman populace which were not far away, thinking, of course, that they
were soldiers and were remaining quiet because they had in mind some
sort of an ambush against themselves with the object of getting in their
rear, exposing them to attack on both sides, and thus destroying them.
But when it was now the middle of the day, the Roman army suddenly made
a rush against the enemy, and the Goths were unexpectedly routed, being
paralyzed by the suddenness of the attack. And they did not succeed even
in fleeing to their camp, but climbed the hills near by and remained
quiet. Now the Romans, though many in number, were not all soldiers, but
were for the most part a throng of men without defensive armour. For
inasmuch as the general was elsewhere, many sailors and servants in the
Roman camp, in their eagerness to have a share in the war, mingled with
that part of the army. And although by their mere numbers they did fill
the barbarians with consternation and turn them to flight, as has been
said, yet by reason of their lack of order they lost the day for the
Romans. For the intermixture of the above-mentioned men caused the
soldiers to be thrown into great disorder, and although Valentinus kept
constantly shouting orders to them, they could not hear his commands at
all. For this reason they did not even follow up the fugitives or kill
a man, but allowed them to stand at rest on the hills and in security to
view what was going on. Nor did they take thought to destroy the bridge
there, and thus prevent the city from being afterwards besieged on both
sides; for, had they done so, the barbarians would have been unable to
encamp any longer on the farther side of the Tiber River. Furthermore,
they did not even cross the bridge and get in the rear of their
opponents who were fighting there with the troops of Belisarius. And if
this had been done, the Goths, I think, would no longer have thought of
resistance, but they would have turned instantly to flight, each man as
he could. But as it was, they took possession of the enemy's camp and
turned to plundering his goods, and they set to work carrying thence
many vessels of silver and many other valuables. Meanwhile the
barbarians for some time remained quietly where they were and observed
what was going on, but finally by common consent they advanced against
their opponents with great fury and shouting. And finding men in
complete disorder engaged in plundering their property, they slew many
and quickly drove out the rest. For all who were caught inside the camp
and escaped slaughter were glad to cast their plunder from their
shoulders and take to flight.

While these things were taking place in the Plain of Nero, meantime the
rest of the barbarian army stayed very near their camps and, protecting
themselves with their shields, vigorously warded off their opponents,
destroying many men and a much larger number of horses. But on the Roman
side, when those who had been wounded and those whose horses had been
killed left the ranks, then, in an army which had been small even
before, the smallness of their numbers was still more evident, and the
difference between them and the Gothic host was manifestly great.
Finally the horsemen of the barbarians who were on the right wing,
taking note of this, advanced at a gallop against the enemy opposite
them. And the Romans there, unable to withstand their spears, rushed off
in flight and came to the infantry phalanx. However, the infantry also
were unable to hold their ground against the oncoming horsemen, and most
of them began to join the cavalry in flight. And immediately the rest of
the Roman army also began to retire, the enemy pressing upon their
heels, and the rout became decisive. But Principius and Tarmutus with
some few of the infantry of their command made a display of valorous
deeds against the Goths. For as they continued to fight and disdained to
turn to flight with the others, most of the Goths were so amazed that
they halted. And consequently the rest of the infantry and most of the
horsemen made their escape in greater security. Now Principius fell
where he stood, his whole body hacked to pieces, and around him fell
forty-two foot-soldiers. But Tarmutus, holding two Isaurian javelins,
one in each hand, continued to thrust them into his assailants as he
turned from side to side, until, finally, he desisted because his body
was covered with wounds; but when his brother Ennes came to the rescue
with a detachment of cavalry, he revived, and running swiftly, covered
as he was with gore and wounds, he made for the fortifications without
throwing down either of his javelins. And being fleet of foot by
nature, he succeeded in making his escape, in spite of the plight of
his body, and did not fall until he had just reached the Pincian Gate.
And some of his comrades, supposing him to be dead, lifted him on a
shield and carried him. But he lived on two days before he died, leaving
a high reputation both among the Isaurians and in the rest of the army.

The Romans, meanwhile, being by now thoroughly frightened, attended to
the guarding of the wall, and shutting the gates they refused, in their
great excitement, to receive the fugitives into the city, fearing that
the enemy would rush in with them. And such of the fugitives as had not
already got inside the fortifications, crossed the moat, and standing
with their backs braced against the wall were trembling with fear, and
stood there forgetful of all valour and utterly unable to ward off the
barbarians, although they were pressing upon them and were about to
cross the moat to attack them. And the reason was that most of them had
lost their spears, which had been broken in the engagement and during
the flight, and they were not able to use their bows because they were
huddled so closely together. Now so long as not many defenders were seen
at the battlement, the Goths kept pressing on, having hopes of
destroying all those who had been shut out and of overpowering the men
who held the circuit-wall. But when they saw a very great number both of
soldiers and of the Roman populace at the battlements defending the
wall, they immediately abandoned their purpose and rode off thence to
the rear, heaping much abuse upon their opponents. And the battle,
having begun at the camps of the barbarians, ended at the moat and the
wall of the city.


[139] Matasuntha.

[140] Cf. Book IV. xxvii. 38, note.


THE GOTHIC WAR (_continued_)


After this the Romans no longer dared risk a battle with their whole
army; but they engaged in cavalry battles, making sudden sallies in the
same manner as before, and were generally victorious over the
barbarians. Foot-soldiers also went out from both sides, not, however,
arrayed in a phalanx, but accompanying the horsemen. And once Bessas in
the first rush dashed in among the enemy carrying his spear and killed
three of their best horsemen and turned the rest to flight. And another
time, when Constantinus had led out the Huns in the Plain of Nero in the
late afternoon, and saw that they were being overpowered by the superior
numbers of their opponents, he took the following measures. There has
been in that place from of old a great stadium[141] where the gladiators
of the city used to fight in former times, and the men of old built many
other buildings round about this stadium; consequently there are, as one
would expect, narrow passages all about this place. Now on the occasion
in question, since Constantinus could neither overcome the throng of the
Goths nor flee without great danger, he caused all the Huns to dismount
from their horses, and on foot, in company with them, took his stand in
one of the narrow passages there. Then by shooting from that safe
position they slew large numbers of the enemy. And for some time the
Goths withstood their missiles. For they hoped, as soon as the supply of
missiles in the quivers of the Huns should be exhausted, to be able to
surround them without any trouble, take them prisoners, and lead them
back to their camp. But since the Massagetae, who were not only good
bowmen but also had a dense throng to shoot into, hit an enemy with
practically every shot, the Goths perceived that above half their number
had perished, and since the sun was about to set, they knew not what to
do and so rushed off in flight. Then indeed many of them fell; for the
Massagetae followed them up, and since they know how to shoot the bow
with the greatest accuracy even when running at great speed, they
continued to discharge their arrows no less than before, shooting at
their backs, and kept up the slaughter. And thus Constantinus with his
Huns came back to Rome at night.

And when Peranius, not many days later, led some of the Romans through
the Salarian Gate against the enemy, the Goths, indeed, fled as hard as
they could, but about sunset a counter-pursuit was made suddenly, and a
Roman foot-soldier, becoming greatly confused, fell into a deep hole,
many of which were made there by the men of old, for the storage of
grain, I suppose. And he did not dare to cry out, supposing that the
enemy were encamped near by, and was not able in any way whatever to get
out of the pit, for it afforded no means of climbing up; he was
therefore compelled to pass the night there. Now on the next day, when
the barbarians had again been put to flight, one of the Goths fell into
the same hole. And there the two men were reconciled to mutual
friendship and good-will, brought together as they were by their
necessity, and they exchanged solemn pledges, each that he would work
earnestly for the salvation of the other; and then both of them began
shouting with loud and frantic cries. Now the Goths, following the
sound, came and peered over the edge of the hole, and enquired who it
was who shouted. At this, the Roman, in accordance with the plan decided
upon by the two men, kept silence, and the Goth in his native tongue
said that he had just recently fallen in there during the rout which had
taken place, and asked them to let down a rope that he might come up.
And they as quickly as possible threw down the ends of ropes, and, as
they thought, were pulling up the Goth, but the Roman laid hold of the
ropes and was pulled up, saying only that if he should go up first the
Goths would never abandon their comrade, but if they should learn that
merely one of the enemy was there they would take no account of him. So
saying, he went up. And when the Goths saw him, they wondered and were
in great perplexity, but upon hearing the whole story from him they drew
up his comrade next, and he told them of the agreement they had made
and of the pledges both had given. So he went off with his companions,
and the Roman was released unharmed and permitted to return to the city.
After this horsemen in no great numbers armed themselves many times for
battle, but the struggles always ended in single combats, and the Romans
were victorious in all of them. Such, then, was the course of these

A little after this an engagement took place in the Plain of Nero,
wherein various small groups of horsemen were engaged in pursuing their
opponents in various directions; in one group was Chorsamantis, a man of
note among the guards of Belisarius, by birth a Massagete, who with some
others was pursuing seventy of the enemy. And when he had got well out
in the plain the other Romans rode back, but Chorsamantis went on with
the pursuit alone. As soon as the Goths perceived this, they turned
their horses about and came against him. And he advanced into their
midst, killed one of the best of them with his spear, and then went
after the others, but they again turned and rushed off in flight. But
they were ashamed before their comrades in the camp, who, they
suspected, could already see them, and wished to attack him again. They
had, however, precisely the same experience as before and lost one of
their best men, and so turned to flight in spite of their shame, and
after Chorsamantis had pursued them as far as their stockade he returned
alone. And a little later, in another battle, this man was wounded in
the left shin, and it was his opinion that the weapon had merely grazed
the bone. However, he was rendered unfit for fighting for a certain
number of days by reason of this wound, and since he was a barbarian he
did not endure this patiently, but threatened that he would right
speedily have vengeance upon the Goths for this insult to his leg. So
when not long afterwards he had recovered and was drunk at lunch time,
as was his custom, he purposed to go alone against the enemy and avenge
the insult to his leg; and when he had come to the small Pincian Gate he
stated that he was sent by Belisarius to the enemy's camp. And the
guards at the gate, who could not doubt the word of a man who was the
best of the guards of Belisarius, opened the gates and allowed him to go
wherever he would. And when the enemy spied him, they thought at first
that some deserter was coming over to them, but when he came near and
put his hand to his bow, twenty men, not knowing who he might be, went
out against him. These he easily drove off, and then began to ride back
at a walk, and when more Goths came against him he did not flee. But
when a great throng gathered about him and he still insisted upon
fighting them, the Romans, watching the sight from the towers, suspected
that the man was crazy, but they did not yet know that it was
Chorsamantis. At length, after making a display of great and very
noteworthy deeds, he found himself surrounded by the army of the enemy,
and paid the penalty for his unreasonable daring. And when Belisarius
and the Roman army learned this, they mourned greatly, lamenting that
the hope which all placed in the man had come to naught.


[141] Perhaps the Stadium of Caligula.


Now a certain Euthalius, at about the spring equinox, came to Taracina
from Byzantium with the money which the emperor owed the soldiers. And
fearing lest the enemy should come upon him on the road and both rob him
of the money and kill him, he wrote to Belisarius requesting him to make
the journey to Rome safe for him. Belisarius accordingly selected one
hundred men of note from among his own bodyguards and sent them with two
spearmen to Taracina to assist him in bringing the money. And at the
same time he kept trying to make the barbarians believe that he was
about to fight with his whole army, his purpose being to prevent any of
the enemy from leaving the vicinity, either to bring in provisions or
for any other purpose. But when he found out that Euthalius and his men
would arrive on the morrow, he arrayed his army and set it in order for
battle, and the barbarians were in readiness. Now throughout the whole
forenoon he merely held his soldiers near the gates; for he knew that
Euthalius and those who accompanied him would arrive at night. Then, at
midday, he commanded the army to take their lunch, and the Goths did the
same thing, supposing that he was putting off the engagement to the
following day. A little later, however, Belisarius sent Martinus and
Valerian to the Plain of Nero with the troops under their command,
directing them to throw the enemy's camp into the greatest possible
confusion. And from the small Pincian Gate he sent out six hundred
horsemen against the camps of the barbarians, placing them under command
of three of his own spearmen, Artasires, a Persian, and Bochas, of the
race of the Massagetae, and Cutilas, a Thracian. And many of the enemy
came out to meet them. For a long time, however, the battle did not come
to close quarters, but each side kept retreating when the other advanced
and making pursuits in which they quickly turned back, until it looked
as if they intended to spend the rest of the day at this sort of thing.
But as they continued, they began at last to be filled with rage against
each other. The battle then settled down to a fierce struggle in which
many of the best men on both sides fell, and support came up for each of
the two armies, both from the city and from the camps. And when these
fresh troops were mingled with the fighters the struggle became still
greater. And the shouting which filled the city and the camps terrified
the combatants. But finally the Romans by their valour forced back the
enemy and routed them.

In this action Cutilas was struck in the middle of the head by a
javelin, and he kept on pursuing with the javelin still embedded in his
head. And after the rout had taken place, he rode into the city at about
sunset together with the other survivors, the javelin in his head waving
about, a most extraordinary sight. During the same encounter Arzes, one
of the guards of Belisarius, was hit by one of the Gothic archers
between the nose and the right eye. And the point of the arrow
penetrated as far as the neck behind, but it did not shew through, and
the rest of the shaft projected from his face and shook as the man rode.
And when the Romans saw him and Cutilas they marvelled greatly that both
men continued to ride, paying no heed to their hurt. Such, then, was the
course of events in that quarter.

But in the Plain of Nero the barbarians had the upper hand. For the men
of Valerian and Martinus, fighting with a great multitude of the enemy,
withstood them stoutly, to be sure, but suffered most terribly, and came
into exceedingly great danger. And then Belisarius commanded Bochas to
take his troops, which had returned from the engagement unwearied, men
as well as horses, and go to the Plain of Nero. Now it was already late
in the day. And when the men under Bochas had come to the assistance of
the Romans, suddenly the barbarians were turned to flight, and Bochas,
who had impetuously followed the pursuit to a great distance, came to be
surrounded by twelve of the enemy, who carried spears. And they all
struck him at once with their spears. But his corselet withstood the
other blows, which therefore did not hurt him much; but one of the Goths
succeeded in hitting him from behind, at a place where his body was
uncovered, above the right armpit, very close to the shoulder, and smote
the youth, though not with a mortal stroke, nor even one which brought
him into danger of death. But another Goth struck him in front and
pierced his left thigh, and cut the muscles there; it was not a straight
blow, however, but only a slanting cut. But Valerian and Martinus saw
what was happening, and coming to his rescue as quickly as possible,
they routed the enemy, and both took hold of the bridle of Bochas'
horse, and so came into the city. Then night came on and Euthalius
entered the city with the money.

And when all had returned to the city, they attended to the wounded men.
Now in the case of Arzes, though the physicians wished to draw the
weapon from his face, they were for some time reluctant to do so, not so
much on account of the eye, which they supposed could not possibly be
saved, but for fear lest, by the cutting of membranes and tissues such
as are very numerous in that region, they should cause the death of a
man who was one of the best of the household of Belisarius. But
afterwards one of the physicians, Theoctistus by name, pressed on the
back of his neck and asked whether he felt much pain. And when the man
said that he did feel pain, he said, "Then both you yourself will be
saved and your sight will not be injured." And he made this declaration
because he inferred that the barb of the weapon had penetrated to a
point not far from the skin. Accordingly he cut off that part of the
shaft which shewed outside and threw it away, and cutting open the skin
at the back of the head, at the place where the man felt the most pain,
he easily drew toward him the barb, which with its three sharp points
now stuck out behind and brought with it the remaining portion of the
weapon. Thus Arzes remained entirely free from serious harm, and not
even a trace of his wound was left on his face. But as for Cutilas, when
the javelin was drawn rather violently from his head (for it was very
deeply embedded), he fell into a swoon. And since the membranes about
the wound began to be inflamed, he fell a victim to phrenitis[142] and
died not long afterwards. Bochas, however, immediately had a very severe
hemorrhage in the thigh, and seemed like one who was presently to die.
And the reason for the hemorrhage, according to what the physicians
said, was that the blow had severed the muscle, not directly from the
front, but by a slanting cut. In any event he died three days later.
Because of these things, then, the Romans spent that whole night in deep
grief; while from the Gothic camps were heard many sounds of wailing and
loud lamentation. And the Romans indeed wondered, because they thought
that no calamity of any consequence had befallen the enemy on the
previous day, except, to be sure, that no small number of them had
perished in the encounters. This had happened to them before in no less
degree, perhaps even to a greater degree, but it had not greatly
distressed them, so great were their numbers. However, it was learned on
the following day that men of the greatest note from the camp in the
Plain of Nero were being bewailed by the Goths, men whom Bochas had
killed in his first charge.

And other encounters also, though of no great importance, took place,
which it has seemed to me unnecessary to chronicle. This, however, I
will state, that altogether sixty-seven encounters occurred during this
siege, besides two final ones which will be described in the following
narrative. And at that time the winter drew to its close, and thus ended
the second year of this war, the history of which Procopius has


[142] Inflammation of the brain.


But at the beginning of the spring equinox famine and pestilence
together fell upon the inhabitants of the city. There was still, it is
true, some grain for the soldiers, though no other kind of provisions,
but the grain-supply of the rest of the Romans had been exhausted, and
actual famine as well as pestilence was pressing hard upon them. And the
Goths, perceiving this, no longer cared to risk a decisive battle with
their enemy, but they kept guard that nothing in future should be
brought in to them. Now there are two aqueducts between the Latin and
the Appian Ways, exceedingly high and carried on arches for a great
distance. These two aqueducts meet at a place fifty stades distant from
Rome[143] and cross each other, so that for a little space they reverse
their relative position. For the one which previously lay to the right
from then on continues on the left side. And again coming together, they
resume their former places, and thereafter remain apart. Consequently
the space between them, enclosed, as it is, by the aqueducts, comes to
be a fortress. And the barbarians walled up the lower arches of the
aqueducts here with stones and mud and in this way gave it the form of a
fort, and encamping there to the number of no fewer than seven thousand
men, they kept guard that no provisions should thereafter be brought
into the city by the enemy.

Then indeed every hope of better things abandoned the Romans, and every
form of evil encompassed them round about. As long as there was ripe
grain, however, the most daring of the soldiers, led on by lust of
money, went by night to the grain-fields not far from the city mounted
on horses and leading other horses after them. Then they cut off the
heads of grain, and putting them on the horses which they led, would
carry them into the city without being seen by the enemy and sell them
at a great price to such of the Romans as were wealthy. But the other
inhabitants lived on various herbs such as grow in abundance not only in
the outskirts but also inside the fortifications. For the land of the
Romans is never lacking in herbs either in winter or at any other
season, but they always flourish and grow luxuriantly at all times.
Wherefore the besieged also pastured their horses in those places. And
some too made sausages of the mules that died in Rome and secretly sold
them. But when the corn-lands had no more grain and all the Romans had
come into an exceedingly evil plight, they surrounded Belisarius and
tried to compel him to stake everything on a single battle with the
enemy, promising that not one of the Romans would be absent from the
engagement. And when he was at a loss what to do in that situation and
greatly distressed, some of the populace spoke to him as follows:

"General, we were not prepared for the fortune which has overtaken us at
the present time; on the contrary, what has happened has been altogether
the opposite of our expectations. For after achieving what we had
formerly set our hearts upon, we have now come into the present
misfortune, and we realize at length that our previous opinion that we
did well to crave the emperor's watchful care was but folly and the
beginning of the greatest evils. Indeed, this course has brought us to
such straits that at the present time we have taken courage to use force
once more and to arm ourselves against the barbarians. And while we may
claim forgiveness if we boldly come into the presence of Belisarius--for
the belly knows not shame when it lacks its necessities--our plight must
be the apology for our rashness; for it will be readily agreed that
there is no plight more intolerable for men than a life prolonged amid
the adversities of fortune. And as to the fortune which has fallen upon
us, you cannot fail to see our distress. These fields and the whole
country have fallen under the hand of the enemy; and this city has been
shut off from all good things for we know not how long a time. And as
for the Romans, some already lie in death, and it has not been their
portion to be hidden in the earth, and we who survive, to put all our
terrible misfortunes in a word, only pray to be placed beside those who
lie thus. For starvation shews to those upon whom it comes that all
other evils can be endured, and wherever it appears it is attended by
oblivion of all other sufferings, and causes all other forms of death,
except that which proceeds from itself, to seem pleasant to men. Now,
therefore, before the evil has yet mastered us, grant us leave on our
own behalf to take up the struggle, which will result either in our
overcoming the enemy or in deliverance from our troubles. For when
delay brings men hope of safety, it would be great folly for them
prematurely to enter into a danger which involves their all, but when
tarrying makes the struggle more difficult, to put off action even for a
little time is more reprehensible than immediate and precipitate haste."

So spoke the Romans. And Belisarius replied as follows: "Well, as for
me, I have been quite prepared for your conduct in every respect, and
nothing that has happened has been contrary to my expectation. For long
have I known that a populace is a most unreasoning thing, and that by
its very nature it cannot endure the present or provide for the future,
but only knows how rashly in every case to attempt the impossible and
recklessly to destroy itself. But as for me, I shall never, willingly at
least, be led by your carelessness either to destroy you or to involve
the emperor's cause in ruin with you. For war is wont to be brought to a
successful issue, not by unreasoning haste, but by the use of good
counsel and forethought in estimating the turn of the scale at decisive
moments. You, however, act as though you were playing at dice, and want
to risk all on a single cast; but it is not my custom to choose the
short course in preference to the advantageous one. In the second place,
you promise that you will help us do battle against the enemy; but when
have you ever taken training in war? Or who that has learned such things
by the use of arms does not know that battle affords no room for
experiment? Nor does the enemy, on his part, give opportunity, while the
struggle is on, to practise on him. This time, indeed, I admire your
zeal and forgive you for making this disturbance; but that you have
taken this action at an unseasonable time and that the policy of waiting
which we are following is prudent, I shall now make clear. The emperor
has gathered for us from the whole earth and despatched an army too
great to number, and a fleet such as was never brought together by the
Romans now covers the shore of Campania and the greater part of the
Ionian Gulf. And within a few days these reinforcements will come to us
and bring with them all kinds of provisions, to put an end to our
destitution and to bury the camps of the barbarians under a multitude of
missiles. I have therefore reasoned that it was better to put off the
time of conflict until they are present, and thus gain the victory in
the war with safety, than to make a show of daring in unreasoning haste
and thus throw away the salvation of our whole cause. To secure their
immediate arrival and to prevent their loitering longer shall be my


[143] Torre Fiscale; but it is only about thirty stades from Rome.


With these words Belisarius encouraged the Roman populace and then
dismissed them; and Procopius, who wrote this history, he immediately
commanded to go to Naples. For a rumour was going about that the emperor
had sent an army there. And he commissioned him to load as many ships as
possible with grain, to gather all the soldiers who at the moment had
arrived from Byzantium, or had been left about Naples in charge of
horses or for any other purpose whatever--for he had heard that many
such were coming to the various places in Campania--and to withdraw
some of the men from the garrisons there, and then to come back with
them, convoying the grain to Ostia, where the harbour of the Romans was.
And Procopius, accompanied by Mundilas the guardsman and a few horsemen,
passed out by night through the gate which bears the name of the Apostle
Paul,[144] eluding the enemy's camp which had been established very
close to the Appian Way to keep guard over it. And when Mundilas and his
men, returning to Rome, announced that Procopius had already arrived in
Campania without meeting any of the barbarians,--for at night, they
said, the enemy never went outside their camp,--everybody became
hopeful, and Belisarius, now emboldened, devised the following plan. He
sent out many of his horsemen to the neighbouring strongholds, directing
them, in case any of the enemy should come that way in order to bring
provisions into their camps, that they should constantly make sallies
upon them from their positions and lay ambushes everywhere about this
region, and thus keep them from succeeding; on the contrary, they should
with all their might hedge them in, so that the city might be in less
distress than formerly through lack of provisions, and also that the
barbarians might seem to be besieged rather than to be themselves
besieging the Romans. So he commanded Martinus and Trajan with a
thousand men to go to Taracina. And with them he sent also his wife
Antonina, commanding that she be sent with a few men to Naples, there to
await in safety the fortune which would befall the Romans. And he sent
Magnus and Sinthues the guardsman, who took with them about five
hundred men, to the fortress of Tibur, one hundred and forty stades
distant from Rome. But to the town of Albani,[145] which was situated on
the Appian Way at the same distance from the city, he had already, as it
happened, sent Gontharis with a number of Eruli, and these the Goths had
driven out from there by force not long afterward.

Now there is a certain church of the Apostle Paul,[146] fourteen stades
distant from the fortifications of Rome, and the Tiber River flows
beside it. In that place there is no fortification, but a colonnade
extends all the way from the city to the church, and many other
buildings which are round about it render the place not easy of access.
But the Goths shew a certain degree of actual respect for sanctuaries
such as this. And indeed during the whole time of the war no harm came
to either church of the two Apostles[147] at their hands, but all the
rites were performed in them by the priests in the usual manner. At this
spot, then, Belisarius commanded Valerian to take all the Huns and make
a stockade by the bank of the Tiber, in order that their horses might be
kept in greater security and that the Goths might be still further
checked from going at their pleasure to great distances from their
camps. And Valerian acted accordingly. Then, after the Huns had made
their camp in the place where the general directed, he rode back to the

So Belisarius, having accomplished this, remained quiet, not offering
battle, but eager to carry on the defence from the wall, if anyone
should advance against it from outside with evil intent. And he also
furnished grain to some of the Roman populace. But Martinus and Trajan
passed by night between the camps of the enemy, and after reaching
Taracina sent Antonina with a few men into Campania; and they themselves
took possession of the fortified places in that district, and using them
as their bases of operations and making thence their sudden attacks,
they checked such of the Goths as were moving about in that region. As
for Magnus and Sinthues, in a short time they rebuilt such parts of the
fortress[148] as had fallen into ruin, and as soon as they had put
themselves in safety, they began immediately to make more trouble for
the enemy, whose fortress was not far away, not only by making frequent
raids upon them, but also by keeping such of the barbarians as were
escorting provision-trains in a constant state of terror by the
unexpectedness of their movements; but finally Sinthues was wounded in
his right hand by a spear in a certain battle, and since the sinews were
severed, he became thereafter unfit for fighting. And the Huns likewise,
after they had made their camp near by, as I have said, were on their
part causing the Goths no less trouble, so that these as well as the
Romans were now feeling the pressure of famine, since they no longer had
freedom to bring in their food-supplies as formerly. And pestilence too
fell upon them and was destroying many, and especially in the camp which
they had last made, close by the Appian Way, as I have previously
stated.[149] And the few of their number who had not perished withdrew
from that camp to the other camps. The Huns also suffered in the same
way, and so returned to Rome. Such was the course of events here. But as
for Procopius, when he reached Campania, he collected not fewer than
five hundred soldiers there, loaded a great number of ships with grain,
and held them in readiness. And he was joined not long afterwards by
Antonina, who immediately assisted him in making arrangements for the

At that time the mountain of Vesuvius rumbled, and though it did not
break forth in eruption, still because of the rumbling it led people to
expect with great certainty that there would be an eruption. And for
this reason it came to pass that the inhabitants fell into great terror.
Now this mountain is seventy stades distant from Naples and lies to the
north[150] of it--an exceedingly steep mountain, whose lower parts
spread out wide on all sides, while its upper portion is precipitous and
exceedingly difficult of ascent. But on the summit of Vesuvius and at
about the centre of it appears a cavern of such depth that one would
judge that it extends all the way to the bottom of the mountain. And it
is possible to see fire there, if one should dare to peer over the edge,
and although the flames as a rule merely twist and turn upon one
another, occasioning no trouble to the inhabitants of that region, yet,
when the mountain gives forth a rumbling sound which resembles
bellowing, it generally sends up not long afterward a great quantity of
ashes. And if anyone travelling on the road is caught by this terrible
shower, he cannot possibly survive, and if it falls upon houses, they
too fall under the weight of the great quantity of ashes. But whenever
it so happens that a strong wind comes on, the ashes rise to a great
height, so that they are no longer visible to the eye, and are borne
wherever the wind which drives them goes, falling on lands exceedingly
far away. And once, they say, they fell in Byzantium[151] and so
terrified the people there, that from that time up to the present the
whole city has seen fit to propitiate God with prayers every year; and
at another time they fell on Tripolis in Libya. Formerly this rumbling
took place, they say, once in a hundred years or even more,[152] but in
later times it has happened much more frequently. This, however, they
declare emphatically, that whenever Vesuvius belches forth these ashes,
the country round about is bound to flourish with an abundance of all
crops. Furthermore, the air on this mountain is very light and by its
nature the most favourable to health in the world. And indeed those who
are attacked by consumption have been sent to this place by physicians
from remote times. So much, then, may be said regarding Vesuvius.


[144] The Porta Ostiensis.

[145] See Book V. vi. 7, note.

[146] The Basilica of St. Paul stood south of the city, outside the
Porta Ostiensis which is still called Porta S. Paolo.

[147] St. Peter and St. Paul.

[148] Tibur.

[149] Chap. iii. 7.

[150] This is an error on the part of Procopius. In point of fact it
lies to the south-east of Naples.

[151] During the eruption of 472 A.D.

[152] Since the great eruption of 79 A.D.--the first in historical
times--eruptions have succeeded one another at intervals varying from
one to more than one hundred years.


At this time another army also arrived by sea from Byzantium, three
thousand Isaurians who put in at the harbour of Naples, led by Paulus
and Conon, and eight hundred Thracian horsemen who landed at Dryus, led
by John, the nephew of the Vitalian who had formerly been tyrant, and
with them a thousand other soldiers of the regular cavalry, under
various commanders, among whom were Alexander and Marcentius. And it
happened that Zeno with three hundred horsemen had already reached Rome
by way of Samnium and the Latin Way. And when John with all the others
came to Campania, provided with many waggons by the inhabitants of
Calabria, his troops were joined by five hundred men who, as I have
said, had been collected in Campania. These set out by the coast road
with the waggons, having in mind, if any hostile force should confront
them, to make a circle of the waggons in the form of a stockade and thus
to ward off the enemy; and they commanded the men under Paulus and Conon
to sail with all speed and join them at Ostia, the harbour of Rome[153];
and they put sufficient grain in the waggons and loaded all the ships,
not only with grain, but also with wine and all kinds of provisions. And
they, indeed, expected to find the forces of Martinus and Trajan in the
neighbourhood of Taracina and to have their company from that point on,
but when they approached Taracina, they learned that these forces had
recently been recalled and had retired to Rome.

But Belisarius, learning that the forces of John were approaching and
fearing that the enemy might confront them in greatly superior numbers
and destroy them, took the following measures. It so happened that the
enemy had encamped very close to the Flaminian Gate; this gate
Belisarius himself had blocked up at the beginning of this war by a
structure of stone, as has been told by me in the previous
narrative,[154] his purpose of course being to make it difficult for the
enemy either to force their way in or to make any attempt upon the city
at that point. Consequently no engagement had taken place at this gate,
and the barbarians had no suspicion that there would be any attack upon
them from there. Now Belisarius tore down by night the masonry which
blocked this gate, without giving notice to anyone at all, and made
ready the greatest part of the army there. And at daybreak he sent
Trajan and Diogenes with a thousand horsemen through the Pincian Gate,
commanding them to shoot missiles into the camps, and as soon as their
opponents came against them, to flee without the least shame and to ride
up to the fortifications at full speed. And he also stationed some men
inside this gate. So the men under Trajan began to harass the
barbarians, as Belisarius had directed them to do, and the Goths,
gathering from all the camps, began to defend themselves. And both
armies began to move as fast as they could toward the fortifications of
the city, the one giving the appearance of fleeing, and the other
supposing that they were pursuing the enemy.

But as soon as Belisarius saw the enemy take up the pursuit, he opened
the Flaminian Gate and sent his army out against the barbarians, who
were thus taken unawares. Now it so happened that one of the Gothic
camps was on the road near this gate, and in front of it there was a
narrow passage between steep banks which was exceedingly difficult of
access. And one of the barbarians, a man of splendid physique and clad
in a corselet, when he saw the enemy advancing, reached this place
before them and took his stand there, at the same time calling his
comrades and urging them to help in guarding the narrow passage. But
before any move could be made Mundilas slew him and thereafter allowed
none of the barbarians to go into this passage. The Romans therefore
passed through it without encountering opposition, and some of them,
arriving at the Gothic camp near by, for a short time tried to take it,
but were unable to do so because of the strength of the stockade,
although not many barbarians had been left behind in it. For the trench
had been dug to an extraordinary depth, and since the earth taken from
it had invariably been placed along its inner side, this reached a great
height and so served as a wall[155]; and it was abundantly supplied with
stakes, which were very sharp and close together, thus making a
palisade. These defences so emboldened the barbarians that they began to
repel the enemy vigorously. But one of the guards of Belisarius,
Aquilinus by name, an exceedingly active man, seized a horse by the
bridle and, bestriding it, leaped from the trench into the middle of the
camp, where he slew some of the enemy. And when his opponents gathered
about him and hurled great numbers of missiles, the horse was wounded
and fell, but he himself unexpectedly made his escape through the midst
of the enemy. So he went on foot with his companions toward the Pincian
Gate. And overtaking the barbarians, who were still engaged in pursuing
Roman horsemen,[156] they began to shoot at them from behind and killed
some of them.

Now when Trajan and his men perceived this, since they had meanwhile
been reinforced by the horsemen who had been standing near by in
readiness, they charged at full speed against their pursuers. Then at
length the Goths, being now outgeneraled and unexpectedly caught between
the forces of their enemy, began to be killed indiscriminately. And
there was great slaughter of them, and very few escaped to their camps,
and that with difficulty; meanwhile the others, fearing for the safety
of all their strongholds, shut themselves in and remained in them
thereafter, thinking that the Romans would come against them without the
least delay. In this action one of the barbarians shot Trajan in the
face, above the right eye and not far from the nose. And the whole of
the iron point, penetrated the head and disappeared entirely, although
the barb on it was large and exceedingly long, but the remainder of the
arrow immediately fell to the ground without the application of force by
anyone, in my opinion because the iron point had never been securely
fastened to the shaft. Trajan, however, paid no heed to this at all, but
continued none the less killing and pursuing the enemy. But in the fifth
year afterward the tip of the iron of its own accord began to project
visibly from his face. And this is now the third year since it has been
slowly but steadily coming out. It is to be expected, therefore, that
the whole barb will eventually come out, though not for a long time. But
it has not been an impediment to the man in any way. So much then for
these matters.


[153] The regular harbour, Portus, was held by the Goths.

[154] Book V. xix. 6.

[155] Cf. Book V. xix. 11.

[156] These were the forces of Trajan and Diogenes.


Now the barbarians straightway began to despair of winning the war and
were considering how they might withdraw from Rome, inasmuch as they had
suffered the ravages both of the pestilence and of the enemy, and were
now reduced from many tens of thousands to a few men; and, not least of
all, they were in a state of distress by reason of the famine, and while
in name they were carrying on a siege, they were in fact being besieged
by their opponents and were shut off from all necessities. And when they
learned that still another army had come to their enemy from Byzantium
both by land and by sea--not being informed as to its actual size, but
supposing it to be as large as the free play of rumour was able to make
it,--they became terrified at the danger and began to plan for their
departure. They accordingly sent three envoys to Rome, one of whom was a
Roman of note among the Goths, and he, coming before Belisarius, spoke
as follows:

"That the war has not turned out to the advantage of either side each of
us knows well, since we both have had actual experience of its
hardships. For why should anyone in either army deny facts of which
neither now remains in ignorance. And no one, I think, could deny, at
least no one who does not lack understanding, that it is only senseless
men who choose to go on suffering indefinitely merely to satisfy the
contentious spirit which moves them for the moment, and refuse to find a
solution of the troubles which harass them. And whenever this situation
arises, it is the duty of the commanders on both sides not to sacrifice
the lives of their subjects to their own glory, but to choose the course
which is just and expedient, not for themselves alone, but also for
their opponents, and thus to put an end to present hardships. For
moderation in one's demands affords a way out of all difficulties, but
it is the very nature of contentiousness that it cannot accomplish any
of the objects which are essential. Now we, on our part, have
deliberated concerning the conclusion of this war and have come before
you with proposals which are of advantage to both sides, wherein we
waive, as we think, some portion even of our rights. And see to it that
you likewise in your deliberations do not yield to a spirit of
contentiousness respecting us and thus destroy yourselves as well as us,
in preference to choosing the course which will be of advantage to
yourselves. And it is fitting that both sides should state their case,
not in continuous speech, but each interrupting the other on the spur of
the moment, if anything that is said shall seem inappropriate. For in
this way each side will be able to say briefly whatever it is minded to
say, and at the same time the essential things will be accomplished."
Belisarius replied: "There will be nothing to prevent the debate from
proceeding in the manner you suggest, only let the words spoken by you
be words of peace and of justice."

So the ambassadors of the Goths in their turn said: "You have done us an
injustice, O Romans, in taking up arms wrongfully against us, your
friends and allies. And what we shall say is, we think, well known to
each one of you as well as to ourselves. For the Goths did not obtain
the land of Italy by wresting it from the Romans by force, but Odoacer
in former times dethroned the emperor, changed the government of Italy
to a tyranny, and so held it.[157] And Zeno, who then held the power of
the East, though he wished to avenge his partner in the imperial office
and to free this land from the usurper, was unable to destroy the
authority of Odoacer. Accordingly he persuaded Theoderic, our ruler,
although he was on the point of besieging him and Byzantium, not only to
put an end to his hostility towards himself, in recollection of the
honour which Theoderic had already received at his hands in having been
made a patrician and consul of the Romans,[158] but also to punish
Odoacer for his unjust treatment of Augustulus, and thereafter, in
company with the Goths, to hold sway over the land as its legitimate and
rightful rulers. It was in this way, therefore, that we took over the
dominion of Italy, and we have preserved both the laws and the form of
government as strictly as any who have ever been Roman emperors, and
there is absolutely no law, either written or unwritten, introduced by
Theoderic or by any of his successors on the throne of the Goths. And we
have so scrupulously guarded for the Romans their practices pertaining
to the worship of God and faith in Him, that not one of the Italians has
changed his belief, either willingly or unwillingly, up to the present
day, and when Goths have changed,[159] we have taken no notice of the
matter. And indeed the sanctuaries of the Romans have received from us
the highest honour; for no one who has taken refuge in any of them has
ever been treated with violence by any man; nay, more, the Romans
themselves have continued to hold all the offices of the state, and not
a single Goth has had a share in them. Let someone come forward and
refute us, if he thinks that this statement of ours is not true. And one
might add that the Goths have conceded that the dignity of the
consulship should be conferred upon Romans each year by the emperor of
the East. Such has been the course followed by us; but you, on your
side, did not take the part of Italy while it was suffering at the hands
of the barbarians and Odoacer, although it was not for a short time, but
for ten years, that he treated the land outrageously; but now you do
violence to us who have acquired it legitimately, though you have no
business here. Do you therefore depart hence out of our way, keeping
both that which is your own and whatever you have gained by plunder."

And Belisarius said: "Although your promise gave us to understand that
your words would be brief and temperate, yet your discourse has been
both long and not far from fraudulent in its pretensions. For Theoderic
was sent by the Emperor Zeno in order to make war on Odoacer, not in
order to hold the dominion of Italy for himself. For why should the
emperor have been concerned to exchange one tyrant for another? But he
sent him in order that Italy might be free and obedient to the emperor.
And though Theoderic disposed of the tyrant in a satisfactory manner, in
everything else he shewed an extraordinary lack of proper feeling; for
he never thought of restoring the land to its rightful owner. But I, for
my part, think that he who robs another by violence and he who of his
own will does not restore his neighbour's goods are equal. Now, as for
me, I shall never surrender the emperor's country to any other. But if
there is anything you wish to receive in place of it, I give you leave
to speak."

And the barbarians said: "That everything which we have said is true no
one of you can be unaware. But in order that we may not seem to be
contentious, we give up to you Sicily, great as it is and of such
wealth, seeing that without it you cannot possess Libya in security."

And Belisarius replied: "And we on our side permit the Goths to have the
whole of Britain, which is much larger than Sicily and was subject to
the Romans in early times. For it is only fair to make an equal return
to those who first do a good deed or perform a kindness."

The barbarians: "Well, then, if we should make you a proposal concerning
Campania also, or about Naples itself, will you listen to it?"

Belisarius: "No, for we are not empowered to administer the emperor's
affairs in a way which is not in accord with his wish."

The barbarians: "Not even if we impose upon ourselves the payment of a
fixed sum of money every year?"

Belisarius: "No, indeed. For we are not empowered to do anything else
than guard the land for its owner."

The barbarians: "Come now, we must send envoys to the emperor and make
with him our treaty concerning the whole matter. And a definite time
must also be appointed during which the armies will be bound to observe
an armistice."

Belisarius: "Very well; let this be done. For never shall I stand in
your way when you are making plans for peace."

After saying these things they each left the conference, and the envoys
of the Goths withdrew to their own camp. And during the ensuing days
they visited each other frequently and made the arrangements for the
armistice, and they agreed that each side should put into the hands of
the other some of its notable men as hostages to ensure the keeping of
the armistice.


[157] 476 A.D. Cf. Book V. i. 6-8 and note.

[158] Cf. Book V. i. 10, 11.

[159] The Goths were Christians, but followed the Arian heresy.


But while these negotiations were in progress at Rome, meanwhile the
fleet of the Isaurians put in at the harbour[160] of the Romans and John
with his men came to Ostia, and not one of the enemy hindered them
either while bringing their ships to land or while making their camp.
But in order that they might be able to pass the night safe from a
sudden attack by the enemy, the Isaurians dug a deep trench close to the
harbour and kept a constant guard by shifts of men, while John's
soldiers made a barricade of their waggons about the camp and remained
quiet. And when night came on Belisarius went to Ostia with a hundred
horsemen, and after telling what had taken place in the engagement and
the agreement which had been made between the Romans and the Goths and
otherwise encouraging them, he bade them bring their cargoes and come
with all zeal to Rome. "For," he said, "I shall take care that the
journey is free from danger." So he himself at early dawn rode back to
the city, and Antonina together with the commanders began at daybreak to
consider means of transporting the cargoes. But it seemed to them that
the task was a hard one and beset with the greatest difficulties. For
the oxen could hold out no longer, but all lay half-dead, and,
furthermore, it was dangerous to travel over a rather narrow road with
the waggons, and impossible to tow the barges on the river, as had
formerly been the custom. For the road which is on the left[2] of the
river was held by the enemy, as stated by me in the previous
narrative,[162] and not available for the use of the Romans at that
time, while the road on the other side of it is altogether unused, at
least that part of it which follows the river-bank. They therefore
selected the small boats belonging to the larger ships, put a fence of
high planks around them on all sides, in order that the men on board
might not be exposed to the enemy's shots, and embarked archers and
sailors on them in numbers suitable for each boat. And after they had
loaded the boats with all the freight they could carry, they waited for
a favouring wind and set sail toward Rome by the Tiber, and a portion of
the army followed them along the right[161] bank of the river to support
them. But they left a large number of Isaurians to guard the ships. Now
where the course of the river was straight, they found no trouble in
sailing, simply raising the sails of the boats; but where the stream
wound about and took a course athwart the wind, and the sails received
no impulse from it, the sailors had no slight toil in rowing and forcing
the boats against the current. As for the barbarians, they sat in their
camps and had no wish to hinder their enemy, either because they were
terrified at the danger, or because they thought that the Romans would
never by such means succeed in bringing in any provisions, and
considered it contrary to their own interest, when a matter of no
consequence was involved, to frustrate their hope of the armistice which
Belisarius had already promised. Moreover, the Goths who were in Portus,
though they could see their enemy constantly sailing by almost near
enough to touch, made no move against them, but sat there wondering in
amazement at the plan they had hit upon. And when the Romans had made
the voyage up the river many times in the same way, and had thus
conveyed all the cargoes into the city without interference, the sailors
took the ships and withdrew with all speed, for it was already about the
time of the winter solstice; and the rest of the army entered Rome,
except, indeed, that Paulus remained in Ostia with some of the

And afterwards they gave hostages to one another to secure the keeping
of the armistice, the Romans giving Zeno, and the Goths Ulias, a man of
no mean station, with the understanding that during three months they
should make no attack upon one another, until the envoys should return
from Byzantium and report the will of the emperor. And even if the one
side or the other should initiate offences against their opponents, the
envoys were nevertheless to be returned to their own nation. So the
envoys of the barbarians went to Byzantium escorted by Romans, and
Ildiger, the son-in-law of Antonina, came to Rome from Libya with not a
few horsemen. And the Goths who were holding the stronghold at Portus
abandoned the place by the order of Vittigis because their supplies were
exhausted, and came to the camp in obedience to his summons. Whereupon
Paulus with his Isaurians came from Ostia and took possession of it and
held it. Now the chief reason why these barbarians were without
provisions was that the Romans commanded the sea and did not allow any
of the necessary supplies to be brought in to them. And it was for this
reason that they also abandoned at about the same time a sea-coast city
of great importance, Centumcellae[163] by name, that is, because they
were short of provisions. This city is large and populous, lying to the
west of Rome, in Tuscany, distant from it about two hundred and eighty
stades. And after taking possession of it the Romans went on and
extended their power still more, for they took also the town of Albani,
which lies to the east of Rome, the enemy having evacuated it at that
time for the same reason, and they had already surrounded the barbarians
on all sides and now held them between their forces. The Goths,
therefore, were in a mood to break the agreement and do some harm to the
Romans. So they sent envoys to Belisarius and asserted that they had
been unjustly treated during a truce; for when Vittigis had summoned the
Goths who were in Portus to perform some service for him, Paulus and the
Isaurians had seized and taken possession of the fort there for no good
reason. And they made this same false charge regarding Albani and
Centumcellae, and threatened that, unless he should give these places
back to them, they would resent it. But Belisarius laughed and sent them
away, saying that this charge was but a pretext, and that no one was
ignorant of the reason why the Goths had abandoned these places. And
thereafter the two sides were somewhat suspicious of one another.

But later, when Belisarius saw that Rome was abundantly supplied with
soldiers, he sent many horsemen to places far distant from Rome, and
commanded John, the nephew of Vitalian, and the horsemen under his
command, eight hundred in number, to pass the winter near the city of
Alba, which lies in Picenum; and with him he sent four hundred of the
men of Valerian, whom Damianus, the nephew of Valerian, commanded, and
eight hundred men of his own guards who were especially able warriors.
And in command of these he put two spearmen, Suntas and Adegis, and
ordered them to follow John wherever he should lead; and he gave John
instructions that as long as he saw the enemy was keeping the agreement
made between them, he should remain quiet; but whenever he found that
the armistice had been violated by them, he should do as follows: With
his whole force he was to make a sudden raid and overrun the land of
Picenum, visiting all the districts of that region and reaching each
one before the report of his coming. For in this whole land there was
virtually not a single man left, since all, as it appeared, had marched
against Rome, but everywhere there were women and children of the enemy
and money. He was instructed, therefore, to enslave or plunder whatever
he found, taking care never to injure any of the Romans living there.
And if he should happen upon any place which had men and defences, as he
probably would, he was to make an attempt upon it with his whole force.
And if he was able to capture it, he was to go forward, but if it should
so happen that his attempt was unsuccessful, he was to march back or
remain there. For if he should go forward and leave such a fortress in
his rear, he would be involved in the greatest danger, since his men
would never be able to defend themselves easily, if they should be
harassed by their opponents. He was also to keep the whole booty intact,
in order that it might be divided fairly and properly among the army.
Then with a laugh he added this also: "For it is not fair that the
drones should be destroyed with great labour by one force, while others,
without having endured any hardship at all, enjoy the honey." So after
giving these instructions, Belisarius sent John with his army.

And at about the same time Datius, the priest of Milan, and some notable
men among the citizens came to Rome and begged Belisarius to send them a
few guards. For they declared that they were themselves able without any
trouble to detach from the Goths not only Milan, but the whole of
Liguria also, and to recover them for the emperor. Now this city is
situated in Liguria, and lies about half way between the city of Ravenna
and the Alps on the borders of Gaul; for from either one it is a journey
of eight days to Milan for an unencumbered traveller; and it is the
first of the cities of the West, after Rome at least, both in size and
in population and in general prosperity. And Belisarius promised to
fulfil their request, but detained them there during the winter season.


[160] Ostia, since the regular harbour, Portus, was held by the Goths.

[161] _i.e._ facing upstream.

[162] Book IV. xxvi. 14.

[163] Modern Civita Vecchia.


Such was the course of these events. But the envy of fortune was already
swelling against the Romans, when she saw their affairs progressing
successfully and well, and wishing to mingle some evil with this good,
she inspired a quarrel, on a trifling pretext, between Belisarius and
Constantinus; and how this grew and to what end it came I shall now go
on to relate. There was a certain Presidius, a Roman living at Ravenna,
and a man of no mean station. This Presidius had given offence to the
Goths at the time when Vittigis was about to march against Rome, and so
he set out with some few of his domestics ostensibly on a hunting
expedition, and went into exile; he had communicated his plan to no one
and took none of his property with him, except indeed that he himself
carried two daggers, the scabbards of which happened to be adorned with
much gold and precious stones. And when he came to Spolitium, he lodged
in a certain temple outside the fortifications. And when Constantinus,
who happened to be still tarrying there,[164] heard of this, he sent one
of his guards, Maxentiolus, and took away from him both the daggers for
no good reason. The man was deeply offended by what had taken place, and
set out for Rome with all speed and came to Belisarius, and Constantinus
also arrived there not long afterward; for the Gothic army was already
reported to be not far away. Now as long as the affairs of the Romans
were critical and in confusion, Presidius remained silent; but when he
saw that the Romans were gaining the upper hand and that the envoys of
the Goths had been sent to the emperor, as has been told by me above, he
frequently approached Belisarius reporting the injustice and demanding
that he assist him in obtaining his rights. And Belisarius reproached
Constantinus many times himself, and many times through others, urging
him to clear himself of the guilt of an unjust deed and of a
dishonouring report. But Constantinus--for it must needs be that evil
befall him--always lightly evaded the charge and taunted the wronged
man. But on one occasion Presidius met Belisarius riding on horseback in
the forum, and he laid hold of the horse's bridle, and crying out with a
loud voice asked whether the laws of the emperor said that, whenever
anyone fleeing from the barbarians comes to them as a suppliant, they
should rob him by violence of whatever he may chance to have in his
hands. And though many men gathered about and commanded him with threats
to let go his hold of the bridle, he did not let go until at last
Belisarius promised to give him the daggers. On the following day,
therefore, Belisarius called Constantinus and many of the commanders to
an apartment in the palace, and after going over what had happened on
the previous day urged him even at that late time to restore the
daggers. But Constantinus refused to do so; nay, he would more gladly
throw them into the waters of the Tiber than give them to Presidius. And
Belisarius, being by now mastered by anger, enquired whether
Constantinus did not think that he was subject to his orders. And he
agreed to obey him in all other things, for this was the emperor's will;
this command, however, which at the present time he was laying upon him,
he would never obey. Belisarius then commanded his guards to enter,
whereupon Constantinus said: "In order, plainly, to have them kill me."
"By no means," said Belisarius, "but to have them compel your bodyguard
Maxentiolus, who forcibly carried away the daggers for you, to restore
to the man what he took from him by violence." But Constantinus,
thinking that he was to die that very instant, wished to do some great
deed before he should suffer anything himself. He accordingly drew the
dagger which hung by his thigh and suddenly thrust it at the belly of
Belisarius. And he in consternation stepped back, and by throwing his
arms around Bessas, who was standing near, succeeded in escaping the
blow. Then Constantinus, still boiling with anger, made after him; but
Ildiger and Valerian, seeing what was being done, laid hold of his
hands, one of the right and the other of the left, and dragged him back.
And at this point the guards entered whom Belisarius had summoned a
moment before, snatched the dagger of Constantinus from his hand with
great violence, and seized him amid a great uproar. At the moment they
did him no harm, out of respect, I suppose, to the officers present, but
led him away to another room at the command of Belisarius, and at a
somewhat later time put him to death. This was the only unholy deed done
by Belisarius, and it was in no way worthy of the character of the man;
for he always shewed great gentleness in his treatment of all others.
But it had to be, as I have said, that evil should befall Constantinus.


[164] Cf. Book V. xvi. 1 ff.


And the Goths not long after this wished to strike a blow at the
fortifications of Rome. And first they sent some men by night into one
of the aqueducts, from which they themselves had taken out the water at
the beginning of this war.[165] And with lamps and torches in their
hands they explored the entrance into the city by this way. Now it
happened that not far from the small Pincian Gate an arch of this
aqueduct[166] had a sort of crevice in it, and one of the guards saw the
light through this and told his companions; but they said that he had
seen a wolf passing by his post. For at that point it so happened that
the structure of the aqueduct did not rise high above the ground, and
they thought that the guard had imagined the wolf's eyes to be fire. So
those barbarians who explored the aqueduct, upon reaching the middle of
the city, where there was an upward passage built in olden times leading
to the palace itself, came upon some masonry there which allowed them
neither to advance beyond that point nor to use the ascent at all. This
masonry had been put in by Belisarius as an act of precaution at the
beginning of this siege, as has been set forth by me in the preceding
narrative.[167] So they decided first to remove one small stone from the
wall and then to go back immediately, and when they returned to
Vittigis, they displayed the stone and reported the whole situation. And
while he was considering his scheme with the best of the Goths, the
Romans who were on guard at the Pincian Gate recalled among themselves
on the following day the suspicion of the wolf. But when the story was
passed around and came to Belisarius, the general did not treat the
matter carelessly, but immediately sent some of the notable men in the
army, together with the guardsman Diogenes, down into the aqueduct and
bade them investigate everything with all speed. And they found all
along the aqueduct the lamps of the enemy and the ashes which had
dropped from their torches, and after observing the masonry where the
stone had been taken out by the Goths, they reported to Belisarius. For
this reason he personally kept the aqueduct under close guard; and the
Goths, perceiving it, desisted from this attempt.

But later on the barbarians went so far as to plan an open attack
against the fortifications. So they waited for the time of lunch, and
bringing up ladders and fire, when their enemy were least expecting
them, made an assault upon the small Pincian Gate, emboldened by the
hope of capturing the city by a sudden attack, since not many soldiers
had been left there. But it happened that Ildiger and his men were
keeping guard at that time; for all were assigned by turns to
guard-duty. So when he saw the enemy advancing in disorder, he went out
against them before they were yet drawn up in line of battle and while
they were advancing in great disarray, and routing those who were
opposite him without any trouble he slew many. And a great outcry and
commotion arose throughout the city, as was to be expected, and the
Romans gathered as quickly as possible to all parts of the
fortifications; whereupon the barbarians after a short time retired to
their camp baffled.

But Vittigis resorted again to a plot against the wall. Now there was a
certain part of it that was especially vulnerable, where the bank of the
Tiber is, because at this place the Romans of old, confident in the
protection afforded by the stream, had built the wall carelessly, making
it low and altogether without towers; Vittigis therefore hoped to
capture the city rather easily from that quarter. For indeed there was
not even any garrison there of any consequence, as it happened. He
therefore bribed with money two Romans who lived near the church of
Peter the Apostle to pass along by the guards there at about nightfall
carrying a skin full of wine, and in some way or other, by making a show
of friendship, to give it to them, and then to sit drinking with them
well on into the night; and they were to throw into the cup of each
guard a sleep-producing drug which Vittigis had given them. And he
stealthily got ready some skiffs, which he kept at the other bank; as
soon as the guards should be overcome by sleep, some of the barbarians,
acting in concert, were to cross the river in these, taking ladders with
them, and make the assault on the wall. And he made ready the entire
army with the intention of capturing the whole city by storm. After
these arrangements were all complete, one of the two men who had been
prepared by Vittigis for this service (for it was not fated that Rome
should be captured by this army of the Goths) came of his own accord to
Belisarius and revealed everything, and told who the other man was. So
this man under torture brought to light all that he was about to do and
displayed the drug which Vittigis had given him. And Belisarius first
mutilated his nose and ears and then sent him riding on an ass into the
enemy's camp. And when the barbarians saw him, they realised that God
would not allow their purposes to have free course, and that therefore
the city could never be captured by them.


[165] Book V. xix. 13.

[166] The _Aqua Virgo_.

[167] Book V. xix. 18.


But while these things were happening, Belisarius wrote to John and
commanded him to begin operations. And he with his two thousand horsemen
began to go about the land of Picenum and to plunder everything before
him, treating the women and children of the enemy as slaves. And when
Ulitheus, the uncle of Vittigis, confronted him with an army of Goths,
he defeated them in battle and killed Ulitheus himself and almost the
whole army of the enemy. For this reason no one dared any longer to
engage with him. But when he came to the city of Auximus,[168] though he
learned that it contained a Gothic garrison of inconsiderable size, yet
in other respects he observed that the place was strong and impossible
to capture. And for this reason he was quite unwilling to lay siege to
it, but departing from there as quickly as he could, he moved forward.
And he did this same thing at the city of Urbinus,[169] but at
Ariminum,[170] which is one day's journey distant from Ravenna, he
marched into the city at the invitation of the Romans. Now all the
barbarians who were keeping guard there were very suspicious of the
Roman inhabitants, and as soon as they learned that this army was
approaching, they withdrew and ran until they reached Ravenna. And thus
John secured Ariminum; but he had meanwhile left in his rear a garrison
of the enemy both at Auximus and at Urbinus, not because he had
forgotten the commands of Belisarius, nor because he was carried away by
unreasoning boldness, since he had wisdom as well as energy, but because
he reasoned--correctly, as it turned out--that if the Goths learned that
the Roman army was close to Ravenna, they would instantly break up the
siege of Rome because of their fears regarding this place. And in fact
his reasoning proved to be true. For as soon as Vittigis and the army
of the Goths heard that Ariminum was held by him, they were plunged into
great fear regarding Ravenna, and abandoning all other considerations,
they straightway made their withdrawal, as will be told by me directly.
And John won great fame from this deed, though he was renowned even
before. For he was a daring and efficient man in the highest degree,
unflinching before danger, and in his daily life shewing at all times a
certain austerity and ability to endure hardship unsurpassed by any
barbarian or common soldier. Such a man was John. And Matasuntha, the
wife of Vittigis, who was exceedingly hostile to her husband because he
had taken her to wife by violence in the beginning,[171] upon learning
that John had come to Ariminum was absolutely overcome by joy, and
sending a messenger to him opened secret negotiations with him
concerning marriage and the betrayal of the city.

So these two kept sending messengers to each other without the knowledge
of the rest and arranging these matters. But when the Goths learned what
had happened at Ariminum, and when at the same time all their provisions
had failed them, and the three months' time had already expired, they
began to make their withdrawal, although they had not as yet received
any information as far as the envoys were concerned. Now it was about
the spring equinox, and one year had been spent in the siege and nine
days in addition, when the Goths, having burned all their camps, set out
at daybreak. And the Romans, seeing their opponents in flight, were at a
loss how to deal with the situation. For it so happened that the
majority of the horsemen were not present at that time, since they had
been sent to various places, as has been stated by me above,[172] and
they did not think that by themselves they were a match for so great a
multitude of the enemy. However, Belisarius armed all the infantry and
cavalry. And when he saw that more than half of the enemy had crossed
the bridge, he led the army out through the small Pincian Gate, and the
hand-to-hand battle which ensued proved to be equal to any that had
preceded it. At the beginning the barbarians withstood their enemy
vigorously, and many on both sides fell in the first encounter; but
afterwards the Goths turned to flight and brought upon themselves a
great and overwhelming calamity; for each man for himself was rushing to
cross the bridge first. As a result of this they became very much
crowded and suffered most cruelly, for they were being killed both by
each other and by the enemy. Many, too, fell off the bridge on either
side into the Tiber, sank with all their arms, and perished. Finally,
after losing in this way the most of their number, the remainder joined
those who had crossed before. And Longinus the Isaurian and Mundilas,
the guards of Belisarius, made themselves conspicuous for their valour
in this battle. But while Mundilas, after engaging with four barbarians
in turn and killing them all, was himself saved, Longinus, having proved
himself the chief cause of the rout of the enemy, fell where he fought,
leaving the Roman army great regret for his loss.


[168] Modern Osimo.

[169] Modern Urbino.

[170] Modern Rimini.

[171] Cf. Book V. xi. 27.

[172] Chap. vii. 25.


Now Vittigis with the remainder of his army marched toward Ravenna; and
he strengthened the fortified places with a great number of guards,
leaving in Clusium,[173] the city of Tuscany, one thousand men and
Gibimer as commander, and in Urviventus[174] an equal number, over whom
he set Albilas, a Goth, as commander. And he left Uligisalus in
Tudera[175] with four hundred men. And in the land of Picenum he left in
the fortress of Petra four hundred men who had lived there previously,
and in Auximus, which is the largest of all the cities of that country,
he left four thousand Goths selected for their valour and a very
energetic commander, Visandus by name, and two thousand men with Moras
in the city of Urbinus. There are also two other fortresses, Caesena and
Monteferetra,[176] in each of which he established a garrison of not
less than five hundred men. Then he himself with the rest of the army
moved straight for Ariminum with the purpose of laying siege to it.

But it happened that Belisarius, as soon as the Goths had broken up the
siege of Rome, had sent Ildiger and Martinus with a thousand horsemen,
in order that by travelling more quickly by another road they might
arrive at Ariminum first, and he directed them promptly to remove John
from the city and all those with him, and to put in their place fully
enough men to guard the city, taking them from the fortress which is on
the Ionian Gulf, Ancon by name, two days' journey distant from Ariminum.
For he had already taken possession of it not long before, having sent
Conon with no small force of Isaurians and Thracians. It was his hope
that if unsupported infantry under commanders of no great note should
hold Ariminum, the Gothic forces would never undertake its siege, but
would regard it with contempt and so go at once to Ravenna, and that if
they should decide to besiege Ariminum, the provisions there would
suffice for the infantry for a somewhat longer time; and he thought also
that two thousand horsemen,[177] attacking from outside with the rest of
the army, would in all probability do the enemy great harm and drive
them more easily to abandon the siege. It was with this purpose that
Belisarius gave such orders to Martinus and Ildiger and their men. And
they, by travelling over the Flaminian Way, arrived long before the
barbarians. For since the Goths were moving in a great throng, they
proceeded in a more leisurely manner, and they were compelled to make
certain long detours, both because of the lack of provisions, and
because they preferred not to pass close to the fortresses on the
Flaminian Way, Narnia and Spolitium and Perusia, since these were in the
hands of the enemy, as has been stated above.[178]

When the Roman army arrived at Petra, they made an attack upon the
fortress there, regarding it as an incident of their expedition. Now
this fortress was not devised by man, but it was made by the nature of
the place; for the road passes through an extremely mountainous country
at that place. On the right of this road a river descends which no man
can ford because of the swiftness of the current, and on the left not
far away rises a sheer rock which reaches to such a height that men who
might chance to be standing on its summit, as seen by those below,
resemble in size the smallest birds. And in olden times there was no
passage through as one went forward. For the end of the rock reaches to
the very stream of the river, affording no room for those who travel
that way to pass by. So the men of ancient times constructed a tunnel at
that point, and made there a gate for the place.[179] And they also
closed up the greatest part of the other[180] entrance, leaving only
enough space for a small gate there also, and thus rendered the place a
natural fortress, which they call by the fitting name of Petra. So the
men of Martinus and Ildiger first made an attack upon one of the two
gates,[181] and shot many missiles, but they accomplished nothing,
although the barbarians there made no defence at all; but afterwards
they forced their way up the cliff behind the fortress and hurled stones
from there upon the heads of the Goths. And they, hurriedly and in great
confusion, entered their houses and remained quiet. And then the Romans,
unable to hit any of the enemy with the stones they threw, devised the
following plan. They broke off large pieces from the cliff and, many of
them pushing together, hurled them down, aiming at the houses. And
wherever these in their fall did no more than just graze the building,
they yet gave the whole fortress a considerable shock and reduced the
barbarians to great fear. Consequently the Goths stretched out their
hands to those who were still about the gate and surrendered themselves
and the fort, with the condition that they themselves should remain free
from harm, being slaves of the emperor and subject to Belisarius. And
Ildiger and Martinus removed the most of them and led them away, putting
them on a basis of complete equality with themselves, but some few they
left there, together with their wives and children. And they also left
something of a garrison of Romans. Thence they proceeded to Ancon, and
taking with them many of the infantry in that place on the third day
reached Ariminum, and announced the will of Belisarius. But John was not
only unwilling himself to follow them, but also proposed to retain
Damianus with the four hundred.[182] So they left there the infantry and
retired thence with all speed, taking the spearmen and guards of


[173] Modern Chiusi.

[174] Urbs Vetus, modern Orvieto.

[175] Tuder or Tudertum, modern Todi.

[176] Modern Montefeltro.

[177] _i.e._ the force which John had when he had set out on his raid of
Picenum (cf. Chap. x. 1) and with which he was now holding Ariminum.

[178] Book V. xxix. 3.

[179] The tunnel was made by the Emperor Vespasian, 76 A.D. This gate
was at the southern end.

[180] _i.e._ northern.

[181] The upper, or southern, gate.

[182] Cf. Chap. vii. 26.


And not long afterward Vittigis and his whole army arrived at Ariminum,
where they established their camp and began the siege. And they
immediately constructed a wooden tower higher than the circuit-wall of
the city and resting on four wheels, and drew it toward that part of the
wall which seemed to them most vulnerable. But in order that they might
not have the same experience here which they had before the
fortifications of Rome, they did not use oxen to draw the tower, but hid
themselves within it and thus hauled it forward. And there was a
stairway of great breadth inside the tower on which the barbarians in
great numbers were to make the ascent easily, for they hoped that as
soon as they should place the tower against the fortifications, they
would have no trouble in stepping thence to the parapet of the wall; for
they had made the tower high with this in view. So when they had come
close to the fortifications with this engine of war, they remained quiet
for the time, since it was already growing dark, and stationing guards
about the tower they all went off to pass the night, supposing that they
would meet with no obstacle whatever. And indeed there was nothing in
their way, not even a trench between them and the wall, except an
exceedingly small one.

As for the Romans, they passed the night in great fear, supposing that
on the morrow they would perish. But John, neither yielding to despair
in face of the danger nor being greatly agitated by fear, devised the
following plan. Leaving the others on guard at their posts, he himself
took the Isaurians, who carried pickaxes and various other tools of this
kind, and went outside the fortifications; it was late in the night and
no word had been given beforehand to anyone in the city; and once
outside the wall, he commanded his men in silence to dig the trench
deeper. So they did as directed, and as they dug they kept putting the
earth which they took out of the trench upon the side of it nearer the
city-wall, and there it served them as an earthwork. And since they were
unobserved for a long time by the enemy, who were sleeping, they soon
made the trench both deep and sufficiently wide, at the place where the
fortifications were especially vulnerable and where the barbarians were
going to make the assault with their engine of war. But far on in the
night the enemy, perceiving what was being done, charged at full speed
against those who were digging, and John went inside the fortifications
with the Isaurians, since the trench was now in a most satisfactory

But at daybreak Vittigis noted what had been accomplished and in his
exceeding vexation at the occurrence executed some of the guards;
however, he was as eager as before to bring his engine to bear, and so
commanded the Goths to throw a great number of faggots as quickly as
possible into the trench, and then by drawing the tower over them to
bring it into position. This they proceeded to do as Vittigis commanded,
with all zeal, although their opponents kept fighting them back from the
wall with the utmost vigour. But when the weight of the tower came upon
the faggots they naturally yielded and sank down. For this reason the
barbarians were quite unable to go forward with the engine, because the
ground became still more steep before them, where the Romans had heaped
up the earth as I have stated. Fearing, therefore, that when night came
on the enemy would sally forth and set fire to the engine, they began to
draw it back again. This was precisely what John was eager to prevent
with all his power, and so he armed his soldiers, called them all
together, and exhorted them as follows:

"My men, who share this danger common to us all, if it would please any
man among you to live and see those whom he has left at home, let him
realize that the only hope he has of obtaining these things lies in
nothing but his own hands. For when Belisarius sent us forth in the
beginning, hope and desire for many things made us eager for the task.
For we never suspected that we should be besieged in the country along
the coast, since the Romans command the sea so completely, nor would one
have supposed that the emperor's army would so far neglect us. But apart
from these considerations, at that time we were prompted to boldness by
an opportunity to display our loyalty to the state and by the glory
which we should acquire in the sight of all men as the result of our
struggles. But as things now stand, we cannot possibly survive save by
courage, and we are obliged to undergo this danger with no other end in
view than the saving of our own lives. Therefore, if any of you
perchance lay claim to valour, all such have the opportunity to prove
themselves brave men, if any men in the world have, and thereby to cover
themselves with glory. For they achieve a fair name, not who overpower
those weaker than themselves, but who, though inferior in equipment,
still win the victory by the greatness of their souls. And as for those
in whom the love of life has been more deeply implanted, it will be of
advantage to these especially to be bold, for it is true of all men, as
a general thing, that when their fortunes stand on the razor's edge, as
is now the case with us, they may be saved only by scorning the danger."

With these words John led his army out against the enemy, leaving some
few men to guard the battlement. But the enemy withstood them bravely,
and the battle became exceedingly fierce. And with great difficulty and
late in the day the barbarians succeeded in bringing the tower back to
their own camp. However, they lost so great a number of their fighting
men that they decided thenceforth to make no further attacks upon the
wall, but in despair of succeeding that way, they remained quiet,
expecting that their enemy would yield to them under stress of famine.
For all their provisions had already failed them completely, since they
had not found any place from which they could bring in a sufficient

Such was the course of events here. But as for Belisarius, he sent to
the representatives of Milan[183] a thousand men, Isaurians and
Thracians. The Isaurians were commanded by Ennes, the Thracians by
Paulus, while Mundilas was set over them all and commanded in person,
having as his guard some few of the guardsmen of Belisarius. And with
them was also Fidelius, who had been made praetorian prefect. For since
he was a native of Milan, he was regarded as a suitable person to go
with this army, having as he did some influence in Liguria. They set
sail, accordingly, from the harbour of Rome and put in at Genoa, which
is the last city in Tuscany and well situated as a port of call for the
voyage to Gaul and to Spain. There they left their ships and travelling
by land moved forward, placing the boats of the ships on their waggons,
in order that nothing might prevent their crossing the river Po. It was
by this means, in any event, that they made the crossing of the river.
And when they reached the city of Ticinum,[184] after crossing the Po,
the Goths came out against them and engaged them in battle. And they
were not only numerous but also excellent troops, since all the
barbarians who lived in that region had deposited the most valuable of
their possessions in Ticinum, as being a place which had strong
defences, and had left there a considerable garrison. So a fierce battle
took place, but the Romans were victorious, and routing their opponents,
they slew a great number and came within a little of capturing the city
in the pursuit. For it was only with difficulty that the barbarians
succeeded in shutting the gates, so closely did their enemy press upon
their heels. And as the Romans were marching away, Fidelius went into a
temple there to pray, and was the last to leave. But by some chance his
horse stumbled and he fell. And since he had fallen very near the
fortifications, the Goths seeing him came out and killed him without
being observed by the enemy. Wherefore, when this was afterwards
discovered by Mundilas and the Romans, they were greatly distressed.

Then, leaving Ticinum, they arrived at the city of Milan and secured
this city with the rest of Liguria without a battle. When Vittigis
learned about this, he sent a large army with all speed and Uraďas, his
own nephew, as commander. And Theudibert, the leader of the Franks, sent
him at his request ten thousand men as allies, not of the Franks
themselves, but Burgundians, in order not to appear to be doing injury
to the emperor's cause. For it was given out that the Burgundians made
the expedition willingly and of their own choice, not as obeying the
command of Theudibert. And the Goths, joined by these troops, came to
Milan, made camp and began a siege when the Romans were least expecting
them. At any rate the Romans, through this action, found it impossible
to bring in any kind of provisions, but they were immediately in
distress for want of necessities. Indeed, even the guarding of the walls
was not being maintained by the regular soldiers, for it so happened
that Mundilas had occupied all the cities near Milan which had defences,
namely Bergomum, Comum, and Novaria,[185] as well as some other
strongholds, and in every place had established a considerable garrison,
while he himself with about three hundred men remained in Milan, and
with him Ennes and Paulus. Consequently and of necessity the inhabitants
of the city were regularly keeping guard in turn. Such was the progress
of events in Liguria, and the winter drew to its close, and the third
year came to an end in this war, the history of which Procopius has


[183] Cf. Chap. vii. 35.

[184] Modern Pavia.

[185] Modern Bergamo, Como, and Novara.


And Belisarius at about the time of the summer solstice marched against
Vittigis and the Gothic army, leaving a few men to act as a garrison in
Rome, but taking all the others with him. And he sent some men to Tudera
and Clusium, with orders to make fortified camps there, and he was
intending to follow them and assist in besieging the barbarians at those
places. But when the barbarians learned that the army was approaching,
they did not wait to face the danger, but sent envoys to Belisarius,
promising to surrender both themselves and the two cities, with the
condition that they should remain free from harm. And when he came
there, they fulfilled their promise. And Belisarius removed all the
Goths from these towns and sent them to Sicily and Naples, and after
establishing a garrison in Clusium and in Tudera, he led his army

But meanwhile Vittigis had sent another army, under command of Vacimus,
to Auximus, commanding it to join forces with the Goths there, and with
them to go against the enemy in Ancon and make an attempt upon that
fortress. Now this Ancon is a sort of pointed rock, and indeed it is
from this circumstance that it has taken its name; for it is exceedingly
like an "elbow." And it is about eighty stades distant from the city of
Auximus, whose port it is. And the defences of the fortress lie upon the
pointed rock in a position of security, but all the buildings outside,
though they are many, have been from ancient times unprotected by a
wall. Now as soon as Conon, who was in command of the garrison of the
place, heard that the forces of Vacimus were coming against him and were
already not far away, he made an exhibition of thoughtless folly. For
thinking it too small a thing to preserve free from harm merely the
fortress and its inhabitants together with the soldiers, he left the
fortifications entirely destitute of soldiers, and leading them all out
to a distance of about five stades, arrayed them in line of battle,
without, however, making the phalanx a deep one at all, but thin enough
to surround the entire base of the mountain, as if for a hunt. But when
these troops saw that the enemy were greatly superior to them in number,
they turned their backs and straightway fled to the fortress. And the
barbarians, following close upon them, slew on the spot most of their
number--those who did not succeed in getting inside the circuit-wall in
time--and then placed ladders against the wall and attempted the ascent.
Some also began burning the houses outside the fortress. And the Romans
who resided habitually in the fortress, being terror-stricken at what
was taking place, at first opened the small gate and received the
soldiers as they fled in complete disorder. But when they saw the
barbarians close at hand and pressing upon the fugitives, fearing that
they would charge in with them, they closed the gates as quickly as they
could, and letting down ropes from the battlement, saved a number by
drawing them up, and among them Conon himself. But the barbarians scaled
the wall by means of their ladders and came within a little of capturing
the fortress by storm, and would have succeeded if two men had not made
a display of remarkable deeds by valorously pushing off the battlements
those who had already got upon the wall; one of these two was a
bodyguard of Belisarius, a Thracian named Ulimuth, and the other a
bodyguard of Valerian, named Gouboulgoudou, a Massagete by birth. These
two men had happened by some chance to come by ship to Ancon a little
before; and in this struggle, by warding off with their swords those who
were scaling the wall, they saved the fortress contrary to expectation,
but they themselves were carried from the battlement half dead, their
whole bodies hacked with many wounds.

At that time it was reported to Belisarius that Narses had come with a
great army from Byzantium and was in Picenum. Now this Narses[186] was a
eunuch and guardian of the royal treasures, but for the rest keen and
more energetic than would be expected of a eunuch. And five thousand
soldiers followed him, of whom the several detachments were commanded by
different men, among whom were Justinus, the general of Illyricum, and
another Narses, who had previously come to the land of the Romans as a
deserter from the Armenians who are subject to the Persians; with him
had come his brother Aratius,[187] who, as it happened, had joined
Belisarius a little before this with another army. And about two
thousand of the Erulian nation also followed him, commanded by Visandus
and Aluith and Phanitheus.


[186] He was an Armenian of Persia; see Book I. xv. 31.

[187] Book I. xv. 31.


Now as to who in the world the Eruli are, and how they entered into
alliance with the Romans, I shall forthwith explain.[188] They used to
dwell beyond the Ister[189] River from of old, worshipping a great host
of gods, whom it seemed to them holy to appease even by human
sacrifices. And they observed many customs which were not in accord with
those of other men. For they were not permitted to live either when they
grew old or when they fell sick, but as soon as one of them was
overtaken by old age or by sickness, it became necessary for him to ask
his relatives to remove him from the world as quickly as possible. And
these relatives would pile up a quantity of wood to a great height and
lay the man on top of the wood, and then they would send one of the
Eruli, but not a relative of the man, to his side with a dagger; for it
was not lawful for a kinsman to be his slayer. And when the slayer of
their relative had returned, they would straightway burn the whole pile
of wood, beginning at the edges. And after the lire had ceased, they
would immediately collect the bones and bury them in the earth. And when
a man of the Eruli died, it was necessary for his wife, if she laid
claim to virtue and wished to leave a fair name behind her, to die not
long afterward beside the tomb of her husband by hanging herself with a
rope. And if she did not do this, the result was that she was in ill
repute thereafter and an offence to the relatives of her husband. Such
were the customs observed by the Eruli in ancient times.

But as time went on they became superior to all the barbarians who dwelt
about them both in power and in numbers, and, as was natural, they
attacked and vanquished them severally and kept plundering their
possessions by force. And finally they made the Lombards, who were
Christians, together with several other nations, subject and tributary
to themselves, though the barbarians of that region were not accustomed
to that sort of thing; but the Eruli were led to take this course by
love of money and a lawless spirit. [X]When, however, Anastasius took
over the Roman empire, the Eruli, having no longer anyone in the world
whom they could assail, laid down their arms and remained quiet, and
they observed peace in this way for a space of three years. But the
people themselves, being exceedingly vexed, began to abuse their leader
Rodolphus without restraint, and going to him constantly they called him
cowardly and effeminate, and railed at him in a most unruly manner,
taunting him with certain other names besides. And Rodolphus, being
quite unable to bear the insult, marched against the Lombards, who were
doing no wrong, without charging against them any fault or alleging any
violation of their agreement, but bringing upon them a war which had no
real cause. And when the Lombards got word of this, they sent to
Rodolphus and made enquiry and demanded that he should state the charge
on account of which the Eruli were coming against them in arms, agreeing
that if they had deprived the Eruli of any of the tribute, then they
would instantly pay it with large interest; and if their grievance was
that only a moderate tribute had been imposed upon them, then the
Lombards would never be reluctant to make it greater. Such were the
offers which the envoys made, but Rodolphus with a threat sent them away
and marched forward. And they again sent other envoys to him on the same
mission and supplicated him with many entreaties. And when the second
envoys had fared in the same way, a third embassy came to him and
forbade the Eruli on any account to bring upon them a war without
excuse. For if they should come against them with such a purpose, they
too, not willingly, but under the direst necessity, would array
themselves against their assailants, calling upon God as their witness,
the slightest breath of whose favour, turning the scales, would be a
match for all the strength of men; and He, in all likelihood, would be
moved by the causes of the war and would determine the issue of the
fight for both sides accordingly. So they spoke, thinking in this way to
terrify their assailants, but the Eruli, shrinking from nothing
whatever, decided to meet the Lombards in battle. And when the two
armies came close to one another, it so happened that the sky above the
Lombards was obscured by a sort of cloud, black and very thick, but
above the Eruli it was exceedingly clear. And judging by this one would
have supposed that the Eruli were entering the conflict to their own
harm; for there ran be no more forbidding portent than this for
barbarians as they go into battle. However, the Eruli gave no heed even
to this, but in absolute disregard of it they advanced against their
enemy with utter contempt, estimating the outcome of war by mere
superiority of numbers. But when the battle came to close quarters, many
of the Eruli perished and Rodolphus himself also perished, and the rest
fled at full speed, forgetting all their courage. And since their enemy
followed them up, the most of them fell on the field of battle and only
a few succeeded in saving themselves.

            [X]491 A.D.

For this reason the Eruli were no longer able to tarry in their
ancestral homes, but departing from there as quickly as possible they
kept moving forward, traversing the whole country which is beyond the
Ister River, together with their wives and children. But when they
reached a land where the Rogi dwelt of old, a people who had joined the
Gothic host and gone to Italy, they settled in that place. But since
they were pressed by famine, because they were in a barren land, they
removed from there not long afterward, and came to a place close to the
country of the Gepaedes.[190] And at first the Gepaedes permitted them
to dwell there and be neighbours to them, since they came as suppliants.
But afterwards for no good reason the Gepaedes began to practise unholy
deeds upon them. For they violated their women and seized their cattle
and other property, and abstained from no wickedness whatever, and
finally began an unjust attack upon them. And the Eruli, unable to bear
all this any longer, crossed the Ister River and decided to live as
neighbours to the Romans in that region; this was during the reign of
the Emperor Anastasius, who received them with great friendliness and
allowed them to settle where they were. But a short time afterwards
these barbarians gave him offence by their lawless treatment of the
Romans there, and for this reason he sent an army against them. And the
Romans, after defeating them in battle, slew most of their number, and
had ample opportunity to destroy them all. But the remainder of them
threw themselves upon the mercy of the generals and begged them to spare
their lives and to have them as allies and servants of the emperor
thereafter. And when Anastasius learned this, he was pleased, and
consequently a number of the Eruli were left; however, they neither
became allies of the Romans, nor did they do them any good.

But when Justinian took over the empire,[Y] he bestowed upon them good
lands and other possessions, and thus completely succeeded in winning
their friendship and persuaded them all to become Christians. As a
result of this they adopted a gentler manner of life and decided to
submit themselves wholly to the laws of the Christians, and in keeping
with the terms of their alliance they are generally arrayed with the
Romans against their enemies. They are still, however, faithless toward
them, and since they are given to avarice, they are eager to do violence
to their neighbours, feeling no shame at such conduct. And they mate in
an unholy manner, especially men with asses, and they are the basest of
all men and utterly abandoned rascals.

            [Y]527 A.D.

Afterwards, although some few of them remained at peace with the Romans,
as will be told by me in the following narrative,[191] all the rest
revolted for the following reason. The Eruli, displaying their beastly
and fanatical character against their own "rex," one Ochus by name,
suddenly killed the man for no good reason at all, laying against him no
other charge than that they wished to be without a king thereafter. And
yet even before this, while their king did have the title, he had
practically no advantage over any private citizen whomsoever. But all
claimed the right to sit with him and eat with him, and whoever wished
insulted him without restraint; for no men in the world are less bound
by convention or more unstable than the Eruli. Now when the evil deed
had been accomplished, they were immediately repentant. For they said
that they were not able to live without a ruler and without a general;
so after much deliberation it seemed to them best in every way to summon
one of their royal family from the island of Thule. And the reason for
this I shall now explain.


[188] Cf. Book IV. iv. 30.

[189] Modern Danube.

[190] Cf. Book III. ii. 2-6, VII. xxiv. 10.

[191] Book VII. xxxiv. 42.


When the Eruli, being defeated by the Lombards in the above-mentioned
battle, migrated from their ancestral homes, some of them, as has been
told by me above,[192] made their home in the country of Illyricum, but
the rest were averse to crossing the Ister River, but settled at the
very extremity of the world; at any rate, these men, led by many of the
royal blood, traversed all the nations of the Sclaveni one after the
other, and after next crossing a large tract of barren country, they
came to the Varni,[193] as they are called. After these they passed by
the nations of the Dani,[194] without suffering violence at the hands of
the barbarians there. Coming thence to the ocean, they took to the sea,
and putting in at Thule,[195] remained there on the island.

Now Thule is exceedingly large; for it is more than ten times greater
than Britain. And it lies far distant from it toward the north. On this
island the land is for the most part barren, but in the inhabited
country thirteen very numerous nations are settled; and there are kings
over each nation. In that place a very wonderful thing takes place
each year. For the sun at the time of the summer solstice never sets for
forty days, but appears constantly during this whole time above the
earth. But not less than six months later, at about the time of the
winter solstice, the sun is never seen on this island for forty days,
but never-ending night envelops it; and as a result of this dejection
holds the people there during this whole time, because they are unable
by any means to mingle with one another during this interval. And
although I was eager to go to this island and become an eye-witness of
the things I have told, no opportunity ever presented itself. However, I
made enquiry from those who come to us from the island as to how in the
world they are able to reckon the length of the days, since the sun
never rises nor sets there at the appointed times. And they gave me an
account which is true and trustworthy. For they said that the sun during
those forty days does not indeed set just as has been stated, but is
visible to the people there at one time toward the east, and again
toward the west. Whenever, therefore, on its return, it reaches the same
place on the horizon where they had previously been accustomed to see it
rise, they reckon in this way that one day and night have passed. When,
however, the time of the nights arrives, they always take note of the
courses of the moon and stars and thus reckon the measure of the days.
And when a time amounting to thirty-five days has passed in this long
night, certain men are sent to the summits of the mountains--for this is
the custom among them--and when they are able from that point barely to
see the sun, they bring back word to the people below that within five
days the sun will shine upon them. And the whole population celebrates a
festival at the good news, and that too in the darkness. And this is the
greatest festival which the natives of Thule have; for, I imagine, these
islanders always become terrified, although they see the same thing
happen every year, fearing that the sun may at some time fail them

But among the barbarians who are settled in Thule, one nation only, who
are called the Scrithiphini, live a kind of life akin to that of the
beasts. For they neither wear garments of cloth nor do they walk with
shoes on their feet, nor do they drink wine nor derive anything edible
from the earth. For they neither till the land themselves, nor do their
women work it for them, but the women regularly join the men in hunting,
which is their only pursuit. For the forests, which are exceedingly
large, produce for them a great abundance of wild beasts and other
animals, as do also the mountains which rise there. And they feed
exclusively upon the flesh of the wild beasts slain by them, and clothe
themselves in their skins, and since they have neither flax nor any
implement with which to sew, they fasten these skins together by the
sinews of the animals, and in this way manage to cover the whole body.
And indeed not even their infants are nursed in the same way as among
the rest of mankind. For the children of the Scrithiphini do not feed
upon the milk of women nor do they touch their mother's breast, but they
are nourished upon the marrow of the animals killed in the hunt, and
upon this alone. Now as soon as a woman gives birth to a child, she
throws it into a skin and straightway hangs it to a tree, and after
putting marrow into its mouth she immediately sets out with her husband
for the customary hunt. For they do everything in common and likewise
engage in this pursuit together. So much for the daily life of these

But all the other inhabitants of Thule, practically speaking, do not
differ very much from the rest of men, but they reverence in great
numbers gods and demons both of the heavens and of the air, of the earth
and of the sea, and sundry other demons which are said to be in the
waters of springs and rivers. And they incessantly offer up all kinds of
sacrifices, and make oblations to the dead, but the noblest of
sacrifices, in their eyes, is the first human being whom they have taken
captive in war; for they sacrifice him to Ares, whom they regard as the
greatest god. And the manner in which they offer up the captive is not
by sacrificing him on an altar only, but also by hanging him to a tree,
or throwing him among thorns, or killing him by some of the other most
cruel forms of death. Thus, then, do the inhabitants of Thule live. And
one of their most numerous nations is the Gauti, and it was next to them
that the incoming Eruli settled at the time in question.

On the present occasion,[196] therefore, the Eruli who dwelt among the
Romans, after the murder of their king had been perpetrated by them,
sent some of their notables to the island of Thule to search out and
bring back whomsoever they were able to find there of the royal blood.
And when these men reached the island, they found many there of the
royal blood, but they selected the one man who pleased them most and set
out with him on the return journey. But this man fell sick and died when
he had come to the country of the Dani. These men therefore went a
second time to the island and secured another man, Datius by name. And
he was followed by his brother Aordus and two hundred youths of the
Eruli in Thule. But since much time passed while they were absent on
this journey, it occurred to the Eruli in the neighbourhood of
Singidunum that they were not consulting their own interests in
importing a leader from Thule against the wishes of the Emperor
Justinian. They therefore sent envoys to Byzantium, begging the emperor
to send them a ruler of his own choice. And he straightway sent them one
of the Eruli who had long been sojourning in Byzantium, Suartuas by
name. At first the Eruli welcomed him and did obeisance to him and
rendered the customary obedience to his commands; but not many days
later a messenger arrived with the tidings that the men from the island
of Thule were near at hand. And Suartuas commanded them to go out to
meet those men, his intention being to destroy them, and the Eruli,
approving his purpose, immediately went with him. But when the two
forces were one day's journey distant from each other, the king's men
all abandoned him at night and went over of their own accord to the
newcomers, while he himself took to flight and set out unattended for
Byzantium. Thereupon the emperor earnestly undertook with all his power
to restore him to his office, and the Eruli, fearing the power of the
Romans, decided to submit themselves to the Gepaedes. This, then, was
the cause of the revolt of the Eruli.[197]


[192] This has not been stated before by Procopius.

[193] Or Varini, a tribe living on the coast near the mouth of the

[194] A group of tribes inhabiting the Danish Peninsula.

[195] Probably Iceland or the northern portion of the Scandinavian
peninsula, which was then regarded as an island and called "Scanza." The
name of Thule was familiar from earlier times. It was described by the
navigator Pytheas in the age of Alexander the Great, and he claimed to
have visited the island. It was variously placed, but always considered
the northernmost land in the world--"ultima Thule."

[196] Cf. Chap. xiv. 42.

[197] Chap. xiv. 37 introduces this topic.


Acarnania, a Roman fleet winters there, V. xxiv. 20

Adegis, bodyguard of Belisarius, VI. vii. 27

Adriatic Sea, of which the modern Adriatic was an inlet, V. xv. 16

Aemilia, district in northern Italy, on the right of the Po, V. xv. 30

Aeneas, son of Anchises, meets Diomedes at Beneventus and receives
    from him the Palladium, V. xv. 9

Aeschmanus, a Massagete, bodyguard of Belisarius, V. xvi. 1

Aetolia, a Roman fleet winters there, V. xxiv. 20

Africa, mentioned in the oracle regarding Mundus, V. vii. 6, 7

Alamani, barbarian people of Gaul, V. xii. 11

Alani, a Gothic nation, V. i. 3

  leader of the Visigoths, V. i. 3;
  deposited plunder of Rome in Carcasiana, V. xii. 41

Alaric the Younger, ruler of the Visigoths;
  betrothed to Theodichusa, daughter of Theoderic, V. xii. 22;
  attacked by the Franks, V. xii. 33;
  appeals to Theoderic, V. xii. 34;
  meets the Franks in battle and is slain, V. xii. 35-40;
  father of Giselic, V. xii. 43

Alba, town in Picenum, VI. vii. 25

Albani, a people north of Liguria, V. xv. 29

  town near Rome, V. vi. 7;
  occupied by Gontharis, VI. iv. 8, vii. 20, 23

Albanum, VI. vii. 23, see Albani

Albilas, Gothic commander of Urviventus, VI. xi. 1

Albis, a Goth sent as envoy to Belisarius, V. xx. 7

Alexander, Roman senator,
  envoy of Justinian, V. iii. 13, vi. 26;
  meets Amalasuntha in Ravenna, V. iii. 16;
  his report, V. iii. 29;
  brother of Athanasius, V. vi. 26

Alexander, commander of cavalry, VI. v. 1

Aluith, Erulian commander, VI. xiii. 18

  form boundary between Gaul and Liguria, V. xii. 4, 20;
  distance from Milan, VI. vii. 37, 38;
  definition of the word "alps," V. xii. 3, 4.

Amalaberga, daughter of Amalafrida,
  betrothed to Hermenefridus, V. xii. 22;
  sister of Theodatus, V. xiii. 2

Amalafrida, sister of Theoderic and
  mother of Theodatus, V. iii. 1;
  mother of Amalaberga, V. xii. 22

  grandson of Theoderic and son of Theodichusa, V. xii. 43, 46;
  becomes king of the Visigoths, with Theoderic as regent, V. xii. 46;
  marries the daughter of the Frankish king, and divides Gaul with the
    Goths and his cousin Atalaric, V. xiii. 4;
  receives back the treasures of Carcasiana, V. xiii. 6;
  gives offence to Theudibert by his treatment of his wife, V. xiii. 9, 10;
  defeated by him in battle and slain, V. xiii. 11

  daughter of Theoderic, V. ii. 23, xxiv. 25;
  mother of Atalaric, V. ii. 1;
  acts as regent for him, V. ii. 3;
  her plan for his education frustrated by the Goths, V. ii. 6 ff.;
  allows him to be trained according to the ideas of the Goths,
    V. ii. 18 ff.;
  her conflict with the Gothic nobles, V. ii. 20-22;
  sends a ship to Epidamnus, V. ii. 26 ff., iii. 14;
  later recalls it, V. ii. 29;
  her concern at the failing health of Atalaric, V. iii. 10, 11;
  plans to hand over Italy to Justinian, V. iii. 12;
  accused by Justinian, V. iii. 15-18;
  meets Alexander in Ravenna, V. iii. 16;
  receives Justinian's letter, V. iii. 16-18;
  her reply, V. iii. 19-27;
  sends envoys agreeing to hand over all Italy to Justinian,
    V. iii. 28, 29;
  hears accusations against Theodatus, V. iv. 1;
  compels him to make restitution, V. iv. 2;
  attempts to gain his support, V. iv. 4 ff.;
  deceived by him, V. iv. 10;
  imprisoned, V. iv. 13-15;
  compelled by him to write Justinian, V. iv. 16;
  the envoy Peter sent to treat with her, V. iv. 18;
  championed by Justinian, V. iv. 22;
  her death, V. iv. 25-27, 31;
  her death foreshadowed by the crumbling of a mosaic in Naples,
    V. xxiv. 25;
  her noble qualities, V. iv. 29;
  her ability and justice as a ruler, V. ii. 3-5;
  mother of Matasuntha, V. xi. 27

  Roman Emperor, VI. xiv. 10;
  makes alliance with the Eruli, VI. xiv. 28, 32

Anchises, father of Aeneas, V. xv. 9

  fortress on the Ionian Gulf, VI. xi. 4, 21;
  its strong position, VI. xiii. 6;
  taken by Belisarius, VI. xi. 5;
  attacked by the Goths, VI. xiii. 5 ff.;
  port of Auximus, VI. xiii. 7;
  distance from Ariminum, VI. xi. 4;
  and from Auximus, VI. xiii. 7

Antae, a people settled near the Ister River;
  serve in the Roman army, V. xxvii. 2

  used as a harbour by the Romans, V. xxvi. 17;
  distance from Ostia, _ibid._

Antiochus, a Syrian, resident in Naples, favours the Roman party,
    V. viii. 21

  wife of Belisarius, V. xviii. 43;
  departs for Naples, VI. iv. 6;
  arriving in Taracina, proceeds to Campania, VI. iv. 14,
    where she assists Procopius, VI. iv. 20;
  assists in shipping provisions from Ostia to Rome, VI. vii. 4 ff.;
  mother of Photius, V. v. 5, xviii. 18;
  mother-in-law of Ildiger, VI. vii. 15

Aordus, an Erulian, brother of Datius, VI. xv. 29

Appian Way,
  built by Appius, V. xiv. 6;
  description of the road, V. xiv. 6-11;
  travelled by refugees from Rome, V. xxv. 4;
  Gothic camp near it, VI. iii. 3, iv. 3, 17

Appius, Roman consul, builder of the Appian Way, V. xiv. 6-9

  a people of Southern Italy, V. xv. 21;
  voluntarily submit to Belisarius, V. xv. 3

Aquileia, city in northern Italy, V. i. 22

Aquilinus, bodyguard of Belisarius;
  performs a remarkable feat, VI. v. 18, 19

Aratius, commander of Armenians,
  who had deserted from the Persians, VI. xiii. 17;
  joins Belisarius in Italy with an army, _ibid._

Arborychi, barbarians in Gaul,
  formerly subject to the Romans, V. xii. 9;
  become Roman soldiers, V. xii. 13;
  absorbed by the Germans, V. xii. 13-15;
  receive land from Roman soldiers, V. xii. 17

Ares, worshipped by the inhabitants of Thule, VI. xv. 25

Argos, Diomedes repulsed thence, V. xv. 8

  their views not held by the Franks, V. v. 9;
  not trusted by Roman soldiers in Gaul, V. xii. 17;
  Arian heresy espoused by Amalaric, V. xiii. 10

Ariminum, city of northern Italy,
  occupied by John, VI. x. 5 ff.;
  abandoned by the Goths, VI. x. 6;
  besieged by Vittigis, VI. xi. 3, xii. 1 ff.;
  Ildiger and Martinus sent thither, VI. xi. 4, 21;
  distance from Ravenna, VI. x. 5;
  from Ancon, VI. xi. 4

Armenians, Narses an Armenian, VI. xiii. 17

Artasires, a Persian, bodyguard of Belisarius, VI. ii. 10

Arzes, bodyguard of Belisarius;
  his remarkable wound, VI. ii. 16-18;
  treatment of his wound, VI. ii. 25-29;
  of the household of Belisarius, VI. ii. 25

Asclepiodotus, of Naples, a trained speaker;
  with Pastor opposes the plan to surrender the city, V. viii. 22 ff.;
  they address the Neapolitans, V. viii. 29-40;
  bring forward the Jews, V. viii. 41;
  his effrontery after the capture of the city, V. x. 39, 43-45;
  bitterly accused by Stephanus, V. x. 40-42;
  killed by a mob, V. x. 46

Asia, the continent adjoining Libya, V. xii. 1

Asinarian Gate, in Rome, V. xiv. 14

  Gothic commander in Dalmatia, V. vii. 1, xvi. 8;
  gathers an army among the Suevi, V. xvi. 12, 14;
  joins Uligisalus and proceeds to Salones, V. xvi. 15, 16

Assyrians, V. xxiv. 36

Atalaric, grandson of Theoderic;
  succeeds him as king of the Goths, V. ii. 1;
  reared by his mother Amalasuntha, _ibid._;
    who attempts to educate him, V. ii. 6 ff.;
  corrupted by the Goths, V. ii. 19 ff.;
  receives the envoy Alexander, V. vi. 26;
  divides Gaul with his cousin Amalaric, V. xiii. 4, 5;
  returns the treasures of Carcasiana to him, V. xiii. 6;
  attacked by a wasting disease, V. iii. 10, iv. 5;
  his death, V. iv. 4, 19;
  his quaestor Fidelius, V. xiv. 5;
  his death foreshadowed by the crumbling of a mosaic in Naples,
    V. xxiv. 24

  brother of Alexander, V. vi. 26;
  envoy of Justinian, V. vi. 25, vii. 24

  her statue stolen from Troy, V. xv. 9;
  given to Aeneas, V. xv. 10;
  different views as to the existence of the statue in the time of
    Procopius, V. xv. 11-14;
  a copy of it in the temple of Fortune in Rome, V. xv. 11;
  Greek statues of, V. xv. 13

Athenodorus, an Isaurian, bodyguard of Belisarius, V. xxix. 20, 21

Attila, leader of the Huns, V. i. 3

  name given to Augustus, Emperor of the West, V. i. 2;
  dethroned by Odoacer, V. i. 7, VI. vi. 16

Augustus, first emperor of the Romans;
  allowed the Thuringians to settle in Gaul, V. xii. 10;
  builder of a great bridge over the Narnus, V. xvii. 11

Augustus, see Augustulus

Aulon, city on the Ionian Gulf, V. iv. 21

Aurelian Gate, in Rome,
  called also the Gate of Peter, V. xix. 4, xxviii. 15;
  near the Tomb of Hadrian, V. xxii. 12

Auximus, city in Picenum;
  its strong position, VI. x. 3;
  strongly garrisoned by the Goths, VI. xi. 2;
  metropolis of Picenum, _ibid._;
  distance from its port Ancon, VI. xiii. 7

Balan, barbarian name for a white-faced horse, V. xviii. 6, 7

  description of, V. xxi. 14-18;
  could shoot only straight out, V. xxii. 21

  his victory over the Vandals, V. v. 1;
  sent by sea against the Goths, V. v. 2;
  commander-in-chief of the army, V. v. 4;
  sent first to Sicily, V. v. 6, 7, xiii. 14;
  takes Catana and the other cities of Sicily, except Panormus, by
    surrender, V. v. 12;
  takes Panormus, V. v. 12-16;
  enjoys great fame, V. v. 17 ff.;
  lays down the consulship in Syracuse, V. v. 18, 19;
  given power to make settlement with Theodatus, V. vi. 25, 26, 27;
  ordered to hasten to Italy, crosses from Sicily, V. vii. 27, viii. 1;
  Ebrimous comes over to him as a deserter, V. viii. 3;
  reaching Naples, attempts to bring about its surrender, V. viii. 5 ff.;
  failing in this, begins a siege, V. viii. 42;
  does not succeed in storming the walls, V. viii. 43;
  cuts the aqueduct, V. viii. 45, ix. 12;
  despairs of success in the siege, V. ix. 8, 10;
  learns of the possibility of entering Naples by the aqueduct,
    V. ix. 10 ff.;
  makes necessary preparations for the enterprise, V. ix. 18-21;
  makes final effort to persuade the Neapolitans to surrender,
    V. ix. 22 ff.;
  carries out the plan of entering the city by the aqueduct, V. x. 1 ff.;
  captures the city, V. x. 21 ff.;
  addresses the army, V. x. 29-34;
  guards the Gothic prisoners from harm, V. x. 37;
  addressed by Asclepiodotus, V. x. 39 ff.;
  forgives the Neapolitans for killing him, V. x. 48;
  prepares to march on Rome, leaving a garrison in Naples, V. xiv. 1, 4;
  garrisons Cumae, V. xiv. 2;
  invited to Rome by the citizens, V. xiv. 5;
  enters Rome, V. xiv. 14;
  sends Leuderis and the keys of Rome to Justinian, V. xiv. 15;
  repairs and improves the defences of the city, _ibid._;
  prepares for a siege in spite of the complaints of the citizens,
    V. xiv. 16, 17;
  places ballistae and "wild asses" on the wall, V. xxi. 14, 18;
  guards the gates with "wolves," V. xxi. 19;
  smallness of his army in Rome, V. xxii. 17, xxiv. 2;
  receives the submission of part of Samnium, Calabria, and Apulia,
    V. xv. 1-3;
  in control of all southern Italy, V. xv. 15;
  sends troops to occupy many strongholds north of Rome, V. xvi. 1 ff.;
  Vittigis fearful that he would not catch him in Rome,
    V. xvi. 20, 21, xvii. 8;
  recalls some of his troops from Tuscany, V. xvii. 1, 2;
  fortifies the Mulvian bridge, V. xvii. 14;
  comes thither with troops, V. xviii. 2;
  unexpectedly engages with the Goths and fights a battle, V. xviii. 3 ff.;
  his excellent horse, V. xviii. 6;
  shut out of Rome by the Romans, V. xviii. 20;
  drives the Goths from the moat, V. xviii. 26, 27;
  enters the city, V. xviii. 28;
  disposes the guards of the city, V. xviii. 34;
  receives a false report of the capture of the city, V. xviii. 35-37;
  provides against a second occurrence of this kind, V. xviii. 38, 39;
  ridiculed by the Romans, V. xviii. 42;
  persuaded to take a little food late in the night, V. xviii. 43;
  arranges for the guarding of each gate, V. xix. 14-18;
  his name given in play to one of the Samnite children, V. xx. 1-4;
  omen of victory for him, V. xx. 4;
  stops up the aqueducts, V. xix. 18, VI. ix. 6;
  operates the mills on the Tiber, V. xix. 19 ff.;
  reproached by the citizens, V. xx. 6, 7;
  receives envoys from Vittigis, V. xx. 8;
  his reply to them, V. xx. 15-18;
  appoints Fidelius praetorian prefect, V. xx. 20;
  report of the Gothic envoys regarding him, V. xxi. 1;
  as the Goths advance against the wall, shoots two of their number
    with his own bow, V. xxii. 2-5;
  checks their advance, V. xxii. 7-9;
  assigns Constantinus to the Aurelian Gate, V. xxii. 15;
  prevented from rebuilding "Broken Wall," V. xxiii. 5;
  summoned to the Vivarium, V. xxiii. 13;
  directs the defence there with signal success, V. xxiii. 14-23;
  praised by the Romans, V. xxiii. 27;
  writes to the emperor asking for reinforcements, V. xxiv. 1 ff.;
  receives from him an encouraging reply, V. xxiv. 21;
  sends women, children, and servants to Naples, V. xxv. 2;
  uses Roman artisans as soldiers on the wall, V. xxv. 11, 12;
  exiles Silverius and some senators from Rome, V. xxv. 13, 14;
  precautions against corruption of the guards, V. xxv. 15, 16;
    against surprise at night, V. xxv. 17;
  unable to defend Portus, V. xxvi. 18;
  encouraged by the arrival of Martinus and Valerian, V. xxvii. 2;
  outwits the Goths in three attacks, V. xxvii. 4-14;
    and likewise when they try his tactics, V. xxvii. 18-23;
  publicly praised by the Romans, V. xxvii. 25;
  explains his confidence in the superiority of the Roman army,
    V. xxvii. 26-29;
  compelled by the impetuosity of the Romans to risk a pitched battle,
    V. xxviii. 2, 3;
  addresses the army, V. xxviii. 5-14;
  leads out his forces and disposes them for battle, V. xxviii. 15-19;
  commands in person at the great battle, V. xxix. 16 ff.;
  grieves at the death of Chorsamantis, VI. i. 34;
  provides safe-conduct of Euthalius, VI. ii. 1-24;
  appealed to by the citizens to fight a decisive battle, VI. iii. 12 ff.;
  his reply, VI. iii. 23-32;
  sends Procopius to Naples, VI. iv. 1;
  garrisons strongholds near Rome, VI. iv. 4 ff.;
  provides for the safe entry of John's troops into Rome, VI. v. 5 ff.;
  opens the Flaminian Gate, VI. v. 8;
  out-generals the Goths and wins a decisive victory, VI. v. 9 ff.;
  his dialogue with the envoys of the Goths, VI. vi. 3 ff.;
  arranges an armistice with the Goths, VI. vi. 36, vii. 10;
  goes to Ostia, VI. vii. 3, 4;
  receives envoys from the Goths, VI. vii. 21 ff.;
  sends out cavalry from Rome, VI. vii. 25 ff.;
  appealed to for help from Milan, VI. vii. 35, 38;
  his disagreement with Constantinus, VI. viii. 1 ff.;
  puts him to death, VI. viii. 17, 18;
  hearing of the strange lights in the aqueduct makes investigation,
    VI. ix. 9-11;
  learns of the stratagem planned by Vittigis, VI. ix. 20;
  punishes his accomplice, VI. ix. 22;
  writes to John to begin operations in Picenum, VI. x. 1, 7;
  arms his men and attacks the departing Goths, VI. x. 14 ff.;
  sends messengers to John in Ariminum, VI. xi. 4-7;
  sends assistance to Milan, VI. xii. 26;
  moves against Vittigis, VI. xiii. 1;
  takes Tudera and Clusium by surrender, VI. xiii. 2, 3;
    garrisons them, VI. xiii. 4;
  receives reinforcements, VI. xiii. 16-18

Beneventus (Beneventum), city in Samnium,
  called in ancient times Maleventus, V. xv. 4;
  its strong winds, V. xv. 7;
  founded by Diomedes, V. xv. 8;
  relics of the Caledonian boar preserved in, _ibid._;
  meeting of Diomedes and Aeneas at, V. xv. 9

Bergomum, city near Milan; occupied by Mundilas, VI. xii. 40

Bessas, of Thrace,
  Roman general, V. v. 3;
  by birth a Goth, V. xvi. 2;
  his ability, V. xvi. 2, 3;
  at the capture of Naples, V. x. 2, 5, 10, 11, 12, 20;
  sent against Narnia, V. xvi. 2;
  takes Narnia by surrender, V. xvi. 3;
  recalled to Rome, V. xvii. 1, 2;
  returning slowly, meets the Goths in battle, V. xvii. 4, 5;
  arrives in Rome, V. xvii. 6;
  in command of the Praenestine Gate, sends a false report of the capture
    of the city, V. xviii. 35, xix. 15;
  summons Belisarius to the Vivarium, V. xxiii. 13;
  sent out against the Goths by Belisarius, V. xxvii. 18;
  his remarkable fighting, VI. i. 3;
  saves Belisarius from Constantinus, VI. viii. 15

Black Gulf, modern Gulf of Saros, V. xv. 18

Bochas, a Massagete,
  bodyguard of Belisarius, VI. ii. 10;
  sent to the Plain of Nero, VI. ii. 20;
  helps to rout the Goths, but is surrounded and wounded, VI. ii. 21-23;
  after inflicting great losses upon the Goths, VI. ii. 36;
  rescued by Valerian and Martinus, VI. ii. 24;
  dies of his wound, VI. ii. 32

Boetius, a Roman senator,
  son-in-law of Symmachus, V. i. 32;
  his death, V. i. 34;
  his children receive from Amalasuntha his property, V. ii. 5

  compared in size with Thule, VI. xv. 4;
  offered to the Goths by Belisarius, VI. vi. 28;
  much larger than Sicily, _ibid._

Britons, V. xxiv. 36

Broken Wall,
  a portion of the defences of Rome, V. xxiii. 3, 4;
  not rebuilt by Belisarius, V. xxiii. 5;
  never attacked by the Goths, V. xxiii. 6, 7;
  never rebuilt, V. xxiii. 8

Bruttii, a people of Southern Italy, V. xv. 22, 23

Bruttium, V. viii. 4

  a barbarian people of Gaul, V. xii. 11;
  attacked by the Franks, V. xii. 23;
  alliance formed against them by the Franks and Goths, V. xii. 24, 25;
  driven back by the Franks, V. xii. 26, 28-30;
  and completely subjugated, V. xiii. 3;
  sent by Theudibert as allies to the Goths, VI. xii. 38, 39

Burnus, town in Liburnia, V. xvi. 13, 15

Byzantines, their identification of the Palladium, V. xv. 14

  ashes from Vesuvius once fell there, VI. iv. 27;
  senate house of, V. v. 19

Cadmean victory, V. vii. 5

Caesar, see Augustus

  fortress in northern Italy, V. i. 15;
  distance from Ravenna, _ibid._;
  garrisoned by Vittigis, VI. xi. 3

Calabria, in southern Italy, VI. v. 2

  their location, V. xv. 21, 22;
  voluntarily submit to Belisarius, V. xv. 3

Calydonian boar, its tusks preserved in Beneventus, V. xv. 8

Campani, a people of southern Italy, V. xv. 22

  its cities: Naples, V. viii. 5;
  and Cumae, V. xiv. 2;
  sought by Roman fugitives, V. xvii. 20;
  by refugees from Rome, V. xxv. 4, 10;
  by Procopius, VI. ix. 1 ff.;
  by Antonina, VI. iv. 14;
  Roman forces unite there, VI. v. 2;
  Procopius gathers soldiers and provisions in, VI. iv. 19;
  offered to Belisarius by the Goths, VI. vi. 30

Cappadocians, Theodoriscus and George, V. xxix. 20

Capua, terminus of the Appian Way, V. xiv. 6

Carcasiana, city in Gaul;
  battle fought near it, V. xii. 35 ff.;
  besieged by the Franks, V. xii. 41;
  siege raised at the approach of Theoderic, V. xii. 44;
  its treasures conveyed to Ravenna, V. xii. 47;
  later returned to Amalaric, V. xiii. 6

Carnii, a people of central Europe, V. xv. 27

Carthage, the ostensible destination of Belisarius' expedition, V. v. 6

Catana, in Sicily; taken by Belisarius, V. v. 12

Celtica, at the headwaters of the Po, V. i. 18

  a sum of money, V. xiii. 14;
  cf. Book I. xxii. 4

Centumcellae, town in Italy;
  occupied by the Romans, VI. vii. 23;
  abandoned by the Goths, VI. vii. 18;
  distance from Rome, VI. vii. 19

Charybdis, the story of, located at the Strait of Messana, V. viii. 1

Chersonese (Thracian), the size of its isthmus, V. xv. 18

Chorsamantis, a Massagete, bodyguard of Belisarius;
  alone pursues the Goths to their camp, VI. i. 21-25;
  wounded in a second encounter, VI. i. 26, 27;
  goes out alone against the Goths and is killed, VI. i. 28-33

Chorsomanus, a Massagete, bodyguard of Belisarius, V. xvi. 1

Christ, His Apostle Peter, V. xix. 4

  their disagreement regarding doctrine, V. iii. 5, 6;
  the following are mentioned as Christians: the Neapolitans, V. ix. 27;
  the Arborychi and Germans, V. xii. 15;
  the Lombards, VI. xiv. 9;
  the Eruli, VI. xiv. 33, 34;
  Christian teachings held in especial favour by the Romans, V. xxv. 23

  mountain near Taracina, V. xi. 2;
  considered to be named from the Homeric Circe, _ibid._;
  its resemblance to an island, V. xi. 3, 4

Circe, her meeting with Odysseus, V. xi. 2

Cloadarius, ruler of the Franks;
  sanctions treaty with Theodatus, V. xiii. 27

Clusium, city in Tuscany;
  garrisoned by Vittigis, VI. xi. 1;
  surrenders to Belisarius, VI. xiii. 2, 3;
  garrisoned by him, VI. xiii. 4

Comum, city near Milan; occupied by Mundilas, VI. xii. 40

  commander of Isaurians, VI. v. 1;
  proceeds to Ostia by sea, VI. v. 3;
  captures Ancon, VI. xi. 5;
  nearly loses it by a blunder, VI. xiii. 8 ff.

Constantianus, commander of the royal grooms;
  sent to Illyricum, V. vii. 26;
  his successful campaign in Dalmatia, V. vii. 27-36;
  in control of the territory as far as Liburnia, V. xv. 15;
  prepares to defend Salones, V. xvi. 14, 15

Constantine I,
  said to have discovered the Palladium in Byzantium, V. xv. 14;
  his forum there, _ibid._

Constantinus, of Thrace,
  Roman general, V. v. 3;
  sent into Tuscany, V. xvi. 1;
  takes Spolitium and Perusia and certain other strongholds, V. xvi. 3;
  defeats a Gothic army and captures the commanders, V. xvi. 6, 7;
  recalled to Rome, V. xvii. 1-3;
  leaves garrisons in Perusia and Spolitium, V. xvii. 3;
  assigned to guard the Flaminian Gate, V. xix. 16;
  assigned to the Aurelian Gate and the adjoining wall, V. xxii. 15, 16;
  leaves the gate during an attack, V. xxii. 18;
    returns, V. xxii. 25;
  leads the Huns in a signally successful skirmish, VI. i. 4-10;
  his disagreement with Belisarius, VI. viii. 1 ff.;
  killed by his order, VI. viii. 17

  this office held by Romans during the Gothic rule, VI. vi. 20;
  held by Appius, V. xiv. 6;
  by Theoderic, VI. vi. 16;
  by Belisarius, V. v. 19

Corinth, near the head of the Crisaean Gulf, V. xv. 17

Crisaean Gulf (the Corinthian Gulf), V. xv. 17

Croton, city in southern Italy, V. xv. 23

  coast city in Campania, V. xiv. 3;
  distance from Naples, _ibid._;
  garrisoned by Belisarius, V. xiv. 2;
  one of the only two fortresses in Campania, V. xiv. 2;
  the home of the Sibyl, V. xiv. 3

  a Thracian, bodyguard of Belisarius, VI. ii. 10;
  his remarkable wound, VI. ii. 14, 15, 18;
  which causes his death, VI. ii. 30, 31

Dacians, a people of central Europe, V. xv. 27

  east of the Ionian Gulf, adjoining Precalis and Liburnia, V. xv. 25;
  counted in the western empire, _ibid._;
  its strong winds, V. xv. 5, 6;
  opposite to Italy, V. xv. 5, 7;
  Mundus sent thither by Justinian, V. v. 2;
  conquered by him, V. v. 11;
  invaded by the Goths, V. vii. 1 ff.;
  recovered for the empire by Constantianus, V. vii. 27-36;
  an army sent thither by Vittigis, V. xvi. 8, 9

Damianus, nephew of Valerian; sent from Rome with troops, VI. vii. 26;
  detained in Ariminum by John, VI. xi. 22

Dani, a barbarian nation in Europe, VI. xv. 3, 29

Datius, priest of Milan; asks aid of Belisarius, VI. vii. 35

Datius, brought as king from Thule by the Eruli, VI. xv. 29

December, last month in the Roman calendar, V. xiv. 14

Decennovium, river near Rome, V. xi. 2

Demetrius, of Philippi, envoy of Justinian, V. iii. 5, 13, 29

Demetrius, Roman commander of infantry, V. v. 3

Diogenes, bodyguard of Belisarius;
  sent out against the Goths, V. xxvii. 11, 12, VI. v. 9;
  sent to investigate the aqueduct, VI. ix. 9

Diomedes, son of Tydeus;
  founder of Beneventus, V. xv. 8;
  received the tusks of the Caledonian boar from his uncle Meleager,
  meets Aeneas there, V. xv. 9;
  gives the Palladium to him, V. xv. 9, 10

Dryus, city in southern Italy, called also Hydrus, V. xv. 20; VI. v. 1

Ebrimous, son-in-law of Theodatus;
  deserts to the Romans, V. viii. 3;
  honoured by the emperor, _ibid._

  traversed by the Nile, V. xii. 2;
  ancient statues of the Aegyptians, V. xv. 13

Elpidius, physician of Theoderic, V. i. 38

  commander of the Isaurians in the Roman army, V. v. 3;
  brother of Tarmutus, V. xxviii. 23;
  at the capture of Naples, V. x. 1, 3, 13;
  saves his brother, V. xxix. 42;
  sent to Milan with Isaurians, VI. xii. 27, 40

Ephesus, priest of, V. iii. 5

  situated on the sea at the limit of Epirus, V. ii. 24, xv. 24;
  Amalasuntha sends a ship thither, V. ii. 26, 28, iii. 14;
  Constantianus gathers an army there, V. vii. 27, 28

Epidaurus, on the eastern side of the Ionian Gulf, V. vii. 28, 32

Epirotes, a people east of the Ionian Gulf, adjoining Precalis, V. xv. 24

Epizephyrian Locrians, among the Bruttii, V. xv. 23

Eridanus, a name sometimes given the Po River, V. i. 18

  serving in the Roman army, VI. iv. 8, xiii. 18;
  their wanderings as a nation, alliances, customs, etc., VI. xiv. 1-34;
  their worthless character, VI. xiv. 35, 36, 41;
  some of them emigrate to Thule, VI. xv. 1 ff.;
  revolt from the Romans, VI. xiv. 37;
  kill their king and summon another from Thule, VI. xiv. 38, 42,
    xv. 27, 30;
  their king a figure-head, VI. xiv. 39, 40;
  decide to ask Justinian to nominate a king for them, VI. xv. 30 ff.;
  welcome Suartuas as king, VI. xv. 33;
  abandon him, VI. xv. 34, 35;
  submit to the Gepaedes, VI. xv. 36

  the continent to the left of Gibraltar, V. xii. 1;
  its shape, rivers, population, etc., V. xii. 3 ff.

  comes to Taracina with money for the Roman soldiers, VI. ii. 1;
  secures safe-conduct from Belisarius, VI. ii. 2 ff.;
  arrives safely at nightfall, VI. ii. 6, 24

Fates, called "Fata" by the Romans, V. xxv. 19, 20

  native of Milan, V. xiv. 5;
  previously quaestor to Atalaric, _ibid._;
  envoy of the Romans to Belisarius, _ibid._;
  praetorian prefect, sent to Milan in company with troops,
    VI. xii. 27, 28;
  taunts the Gothic envoys, V. xx. 19, 20;
  killed by the Goths, VI. xii. 34, 35

Flaminian Gate, in Rome;
  the Goths pass out through it, V. xiv. 14;
  threatened by a Gothic camp, V. xix. 2;
  next to the Pincian, V. xix. 16, xxiii. 3;
  held by Constantianus, V. xix. 16;
  closed by Belisarius, _ibid._, VI. v. 6;
  not attacked by the Goths, V. xxiii. 2;
  guarded by Ursicinus, V. xxiii. 3;
  opened by Belisarius, VI. v. 8, 12

Flaminian Way,
  road leading northward from Rome, VI. xi. 8;
  the strongholds Narnia, Spolitium, and Perusia on it, VI. xi. 9

Foederati, auxiliary troops, V. v. 2

Fortune, temple of, in Rome, V. xv. 11

  "modern" name for the Germans, V. xi. 29, xii. 8;
  account of the growth of their kingdom up to the time of Procopius,
    V. xii. 1-xiii. 13;
  their ruler Theudibert, VI. xii. 38;
  persuaded by Justinian to ally themselves with him, V. v. 8-10, xiii. 28;
  their war with the Goths, V. xi. 17, 18, 28;
  occupy the Visigothic portion of Gaul, V. xiii. 11, 12;
  invited to form alliance with Theodatus, receiving the Gothic portion
    of Gaul, V. xiii. 14;
  Vittigis advises forming of such an alliance with them, V. xiii. 19-24;
  make the treaty with some reserve, V. xiii. 26-28;
  send Burgundians as allies, VI. xii. 38;
  have the Suevi subject to them, V. xv. 26;
  the nations north of Langovilla subject to them, V. xv. 29

Gadira, the strait of Gibraltar, V. xii. 1

  extending from the Pyrenees to Liguria, V. xii. 4;
  separated from Liguria by the Alps, V. xii. 4, 20, VI. vii. 37;
  its great
  extent, V. xii. 5, 6;
  its rivers, lakes, and population, V. xii. 7-11;
  formerly subject to the Romans, V. xii. 9;
  occupied by the Goths, V. xi. 16, 28;
  how the Franks became established there, V. xi. 29, xii. 1 ff.;
  partly occupied by the Visigoths, V. xii. 12, 20;
  guarded by Roman soldiers, V. xii. 16;
  divided between the Franks and Goths, V. xii. 32, 45;
  really under the sway of Theoderic, V. xii. 47;
  divided between the Goths and Visigoths, V. xiii. 4, 5;
  the Visigothic portion taken over by the Franks, V. xiii. 12;
  Visigoths retire thence to Spain, V. xiii. 13;
  the Gothic portion offered to the Franks as the price of alliance
    with Theodatus, V. xiii. 14;
  held by the Goths under Marcias, V. xiii. 15, xvi. 7;
  threatened by the Franks, V. xiii. 16;
  given to them by Vittigis, V. xiii. 26, 27

Gauti, nation on the island of Thule, VI. xv. 26

Gelimer, king of the Vandals, V. v. 1, vi. 2, xxix. 8

Genoa, its location, VI. xii. 29

George, a Cappadocian, bodyguard of Martinus, conspicuous for his valour,
    V. xxix. 20, 21

Gepaedes, a people of southern Europe;
  their war with the Goths, V. iii. 15, xi. 5;
  their relations with the Eruli, VI. xiv. 25-27;
  who submit to them, VI. xv. 36

Germans, called also Franks, _q.v._

  the "Getic peril," V. xxiv. 29, 30;
  equivalent to "Gothic," V. xxiv. 30

Gibimer, Gothic commander, stationed in Clusium, VI. xi. 1

Giselic, illegitimate son of Alaric;
  chosen king over the Visigoths, V. xii. 43;
  his death, V. xii. 46

Gladiators, VI. i. 5

Gontharis, Roman commander;
  occupies Albani, VI. iv. 8

Goths, used throughout to indicate the Ostro-Goths;
  called also "Getic," V. xxiv. 30;
  their fortunes previous to the war with Justinian, V. i. 1 ff.;
  form alliance with the Franks against the Burgundians, V. xii. 24, 25;
  their crafty hesitation, V. xii. 26, 27;
  reproached by their allies, V. xii. 31;
  secure a portion of Gaul, V. xii. 32;
  mingle with the Visigoths, V. xii. 49;
  divide Gaul with the Visigoths, V. xiii. 4, 5, 7, 8;
  remit the tribute imposed by Theoderic, V. xiii. 6;
  ruled formerly over the peoples north of the Ionian Gulf, V. xv. 28;
  led into Italy by Theoderic, V. xvi. 2, VI. xiv. 24;
  prevented by Amalasuntha from injuring the Romans, V. ii. 5;
  their leaders hostile to her, V. iii. 11;
  oppose her in her effort to educate Atalaric, V. ii. 8 ff.;
  grieve at the death of Amalasuntha, V. iv. 28;
  defeated in Dalmatia, V. v. 11;
  enter Dalmatia again, V. vii. 1 ff.;
  again defeated, V. vii. 27-36;
  garrison Naples strongly, V. viii. 5;
  lose Naples, V. x. 26;
  dissatisfied with Theodatus,
  declare Vittigis king, V. xi. 1, 5;
  their war with the Franks, V. xi. 17, 18, 28;
  yield Gaul to them, V. xiii. 26;
  withdraw from Rome, V. xi. 26, xiv. 12-14;
  defeat the Romans at the Mulvian bridge, V. xviii. 3 ff.;
  establish six camps about Rome and begin the siege, V. xix. 2-5, 11,
    xxiv. 26;
  cut the aqueducts, V. xix. 13;
  assault the wall, V. xxi-xxiii.;
  capture Portus, V. xxvi. 14;
  outwitted in three attacks, V. xxvii. 6-14;
  again defeated when they try Belisarius' tactics, V. xxvii. 15-23;
  inferiority of their soldiers to the Romans, V. xxvii. 27;
  defeat the Romans in a pitched battle, V. xxix. 16 ff.;
  but suffer great losses in the Plain of Nero, VI. ii. 19 ff.;
  respect the church of Paul, VI. iv. 10;
  suffer famine and pestilence, VI. iv. 16, 17;
  retire from the camp near the Appian Way, VI. iv. 18;
  decide to abandon the siege, VI. vi. 1, 2;
  send envoys to Rome, VI. vi. 3;
  arrange an armistice with Belisarius, VI. vi. 36, vii. 13;
  abandon Portus, VI. vii. 16, 22;
    and Centumcellae, VI. vii. 18;
    and Albani, VI. vii. 20;
  attempt to enter Rome by stealth, VI. ix. 1 ff.;
  assault the Pincian Gate, VI. ix. 12 ff.;
  abandon Ariminum, VI. x. 6;
  raise the siege of Rome, VI. x. 8, 12, 13;
  defeated at the Mulvian Bridge, VI. x. 15 ff.;
  besiege Ariminum, VI. xii. 1 ff.;
  defeated at Ticinum, VI. xii. 31, 33;
  besiege Milan, VI. xii. 39, 40;
  no new laws made by the Gothic kings in Italy, VI. vi. 17;
  tolerant in religious matters, VI. vi. 18;
  respect the churches, VI. vi. 19;
  allowed all offices to be filled by Romans, _ibid._;
  Gothic language, V. x. 10;
  a Goth makes trouble for the Romans at the Salarian Gate, V. xxiii. 9;
  killed by a well-directed missile, V. xxiii. 10, 11

Gouboulgoudou, a Massagete, bodyguard of Valerian;
  renders signal service at Ancon, VI. xiii. 14, 15

Gratiana, city at the extremity of Illyricum, V. iii. 15, 17

Greece, V. xxiv. 20, xxv. 13;
  Magna Graecia, V. xv. 23

Greeks (Hellenes),
  include the Epirotes, V. xv. 24;
  their capture of Troy, V. xv. 9;
  Greek statues of Athena, V. xv. 13;
  Greek language, V. xviii. 6

Greeks, contemptuous term for the eastern Romans, V. xviii. 40, xxix. 11

Gripas, Gothic commander,
  in Dalmatia, V. vii. 1;
  defeated by Constantianus, V. vii. 27-36;
  retires to Ravenna, V. vii. 36

Hadrian, tomb of,
  near the Aurelian Gate, V. xxii. 12;
  its excellent construction and decoration, V. xxii. 13, 14;
  attacked by the Goths, V. xxii. 19 ff.;
  statues thereon torn down by the Romans and hurled upon the Goths,
    V. xxii. 22

  treasures of their king Solomon taken from Rome by Alaric,
    V. xii. 42;
  a certain Hebrew makes a prophecy to Theodatus by the actions of swine,
    V. ix. 3-6;
  see also Jews

Hellespont, V. xv. 18

Hermenefridus, ruler of the Thuringians,
  betrothed to Amalaberga, V. xii. 22;
  killed by the Franks, V. xiii. 1;
  wife of, escapes to Theodatus, V. xiii. 2

  Roman commander of infantry, V. v. 3;
  left in command of the Roman garrison in Naples, V. xiv. 1

Homer, his testimony as to the place where Odysseus met Circe, V. xi. 2, 4

  in the Roman army, V. iii. 15, v. 4, xxvii. 2, 27;
  led by Constantinus in a signally successful skirmish, VI. i. 4-10;
  encamp at the church of Paul, VI. iv. 11;
  harass the Goths, VI. iv. 16;
  return to Rome, VI. iv. 18;
  see also Massagetae

Hydrus, name of Dryus in Procopius' time, V. xv. 20

Hypatius, priest of Ephesus;
  envoy of Justinian, V. iii. 5, 13, 29

Iberia, home of Peranius, V. v. 3

Ildibert, ruler of the Franks,
  sanctions treaty with Theodatus, V. xiii. 27

Ildiger, son-in-law of Antonina;
  comes to Rome, VI. vii. 15;
  with Valerian, seizes Constantinus, VI. viii. 16;
  on guard at the Pincian Gate, VI. ix. 13;
  meets a Gothic attack, VI. ix. 14;
  sent by Belisarius with Martinus to Ariminum, VI. xi. 4, 8, 21;
  they capture Petra, VI. xi. 10-19;
  leave Ariminum, VI. xi. 22

  capture of, V. xv. 8, 9;
  entered by Diomedes and Odysseus as spies, V. xv. 9

  Mundus general of, V. v. 2;
  Constantinus sent to, V. vii. 26;
  Justinus general of, VI. xiii. 17;
  Eruli settled in, VI. xv. 1;
  the city of Gratiana at its extremity, V. iii. 15;
  home of Peter, V. iii. 30

Innocentius, Roman commander of cavalry, V. v. 3, xvii. 17

Ionian Gulf,
  the modern Adriatic, V. i. 13, etc.;
  ends at Ravenna, V. xv. 19

  in the army of Belisarius, V. v. 2;
  commanded by Ennes, V. v. 3, x. 1;
  render signal service at the capture of Naples, V. ix. 11 ff.,
    17-21, x. 1;
  a force of, reaches Naples, VI. v. 1;
  arrives in the harbour of Rome, VI. vii. 1;
  they fortify a camp, VI. vii. 2;
  guard ships at Ostia, VI. vii. 9;
  remain in Ostia, VI. vii. 12, 16;
  occupy Portus, VI. vii. 16, 22;
  occupy Ancon, VI. xi. 5;
  with John at Ariminum, VI. xii. 6, 9;
  sent to Milan under command of Ennes, VI. xii. 26, 27;
  Isaurian javelins, V. xxix. 42

Ister River, the modern Danube;
  boundary of Pannonia, V. xv. 27, etc.;
  Antae settled near its banks, V. xxvii. 2

Istria, adjoining Liburnia and Venetia, V. xv. 25

  often coupled with "Goths," V. i. 1, etc.;
  their love for Theoderic, V. i. 29;
  grieve at the death of Amalasuntha, V. iv. 28

  its inhabitants enumerated, V. xv. 16, 21-25;
  claimed by the barbarians, V. i. 4, VI. vi. 15, 17;
  neglected by the Romans until the Goths held it, VI. vi. 21;
  Amalasuntha agrees to hand it over to Justinian, V. iii. 28, iv. 18;
  offered to Justinian by Theodatus, V. vi. 21

  his temple in Rome, V. xxv. 18, 19;
  one of the older gods, V. xxv. 19;
  his double-faced statue, V. xxv. 20, 21

Jerusalem, its capture by the Romans, V. xii. 42

  supporting the Gothic party in Naples, V. viii. 41;
  offer stubborn resistance to the Romans at its capture, V. x. 24-26;
  see also Hebrews

John, nephew of Vitalian,
  commander of Thracians, VI. v. 1;
  reaches Campania, VI. v. 2;
  approaches Rome, VI. v. 5;
  reaches Ostia, VI. vii. 1;
  forms a barricade of wagons, VI. vii. 2;
  sent out from Rome by Belisarius, VI. vii. 25 ff.;
  instructed by Belisarius to begin operations, VI. x. 1;
  defeats and kills Ulitheus, VI. x. 2;
  passes by Auximus and Urbinus, VI. x. 3-5;
  enters Ariminum, VI. x. 5, 7. 11;
  wins great fame, VI, x. 9;
  receives proposal of marriage from Matasuntha, VI. x. 11;
  directed by Belisarius to leave Ariminum, VI. xi. 4;
  refuses, VI. xi. 22;
  prevents the approach of a tower to the wall of Ariminum, VI. xii. 6 ff.;
  addresses his soldiers, VI. xii. 14 ff.;
  attacks and inflicts severe losses on the Goths, VI. xii. 23-25;
  his excellent qualities, VI. x. 10

  called "Quintilis," as being the fifth month from March, V. xxiv. 31;
  mentioned in the Sibyl's prophecy, V. xxiv. 28, 30, 31

  becomes emperor, V. ii. 2;
  appealed to by Amalasuntha, V. ii. 23;
  makes a friendly reply, V. ii. 24;
  Theodatus purposes to hand over Tuscany to him, V. iii. 4;
  Amalasuntha plans to hand over Italy to him, V. iii. 12;
  sends Alexander to learn of Amalasuntha's plans, V. iii. 14;
  but ostensibly to make complaints against the Goths, V. iii. 15-17;
  his letter to Amalasuntha V. iii. 16-18;
  her reply, V. iii. 19-27;
  sends Peter as envoy, V. iii. 30;
  receives envoys from Amalasuntha, V. iv. 11;
  receives envoys and a letter from Theodatus, V. iv. 15, 16;
  sends Peter as envoy to Theodatus and Amalasuntha, V. iv. 17;
  champions Amalasuntha against Theodatus, V. iv. 22;
  hears the report of the Italian envoys, V. iv. 23 ff.;
  inaugurates the Gothic war, V. v. 1 ff.;
  sends Belisarius with a fleet to Sicily, V. v. 2, 6, 7;
  recovers all Sicily, V. v. 17;
  persuades the Franks to ally themselves with him, V. v. 8-10, xiii. 28;
  Theodatus proposes an agreement with him, V. vi. 2-13;
  receives a letter from Theodatus, V. vi. 14-21;
  his reply, V. vi. 22-25;
  addresses a letter to the Gothic nobles, V. vii. 22-24;
  sends Constantianus to Illyricum and Belisarius to Italy, V. vii. 26;
  honours the deserter Ebrimous, V. viii. 3;
  receives the keys of Rome, V. xiv. 15;
  sends relief to Belisarius, V. xxiv. 18;
  writes encouragingly to Belisarius, V. xxiv. 21;
  wins the friendship of the Eruli, VI. xiv. 33;
  appoints a king over the Eruli at their request, VI. xv. 30 ff.;
  attempts to restore Suartuas, VI. xv. 36;
  year of reign noted, V. v. 1, xiv. 14

Justinus, general of Illyricum; arrives In Italy, VI. xiii. 17

Langovilla, home of the Albani, north of Liguria, V. xv. 29

Latin language, V. xi. 2, xv. 4;
  Latin literature, V. iii. 1;
  Latin Way, running southward from Rome, V. xiv. 6, VI. iii. 3, v. 2

Lechaeum, at the head of the Crisaean Gulf, V. xv. 17

Leuderis, a Goth;
  left in command of the garrison in Rome, V. xi. 26;
  his reputation for discretion, _ibid._;
  remains in Rome after the withdrawal of the garrison, V. xiv. 13;
  sent to the emperor, V. xiv. 15, xxiv. 1

Liberius, Roman senator;
  envoy of Theodatus, V. iv. 15, 21;
  makes a true report to Justinian, V. iv. 23, 24

  adjoining Dalmatia and Istria, V. xv. 25;
  subdued by Constantianus, V. vii. 36;
  invaded by the Goths, V. xvi. 12

  the continent to the right of Gibraltar, V. xii. 1;
  character of the country, V. xii. 2;
  Huns escape from the army there, V. iii. 15;
  Ildiger comes thence, VI. vii. 15

  on the boundary of Gaul, V. xii. 4;
  separated from Gaul by the Cottian Alps, V. xii. 20;
  its chief city Milan, VI. vii. 37, 38, V. xiv. 5;
  bounded by the Po, V. xv. 28;
  occupied by the Romans, VI. xii. 36

Lilybaeum, in Sicily, subject of complaint by Justinian, V. iii. 15 ff.,
    iv. 19

Locrians, see Epizephyrian Locrians

Lombards, a Christian people,
  subjugated by the Eruli, VI. xiv. 9;
  attacked wantonly by Rodolphus, VI. xiv. 12 ff.;
  rout his army and kill him, VI. xiv. 21, 22;
  defeat the Eruli, VI. xv. 1

Longinus, an Isaurian,
  bodyguard of Belisarius;
  distinguished for his valour, VI. x. 19, 20

Lucani, a people of southern Italy, V. xv. 22

Lucania, V. viii. 4

Lysina, island off the coast of Dalmatia, V. vii. 32

Macedonia, V. iii. 5

Magna Graecia, V. xv. 23

  Roman commander of cavalry, V. v. 3
  at the capture of Naples, V. x. 1, 3, 7, 8, 13;
  sent to Tibur with Sinthues, VI. iv. 7;
  repairs the defences, VI. iv. 15

Maleventus, ancient name of "Beneventus," city in Samnium, V. xv. 4

Marcentius, commander of cavalry, VI. v. 1

March, the first month in the early Roman calendar, V. xxiv. 31

  commands a Gothic garrison in Gaul, V. xiii. 15;
  summoned thence by Vittigis, V. xiii. 29, xix. 12;
  his absence prevents Vittigis from leaving Ravenna, V. xvi. 7;
  commands a Gothic camp in the Plain of Nero, V. xix. 12, xxix. 2

  Roman commander sent to Italy, V. xxiv. 18-20;
  arrives in Rome, V. xxvii. 1;
  sent put against the Goths by Belisarius, V. xxvii. 22, 23;
  his bodyguards Theodoriscus and George, V. xxix. 20;
  sent to the Plain of Nero by Belisarius, VI. ii. 8;
  fights there with varying fortune, VI. ii. 19 ff.;
  with Valerian rescues Bochas, VI. ii. 24;
  sent to Taracina, VI. iv. 6, 14;
  summoned back to Rome, VI. v. 4;
  sent by Belisarius with Ildiger to Ariminum, VI. xi. 4, 8-21;
  they capture Petra, VI. xi. 10-19;
  leave Ariminum, VI. xi. 22

Massagetae, in the Roman army;
  their savage conduct at the capture of Naples, V. x. 29;
  see also Huns

Matasuntha, daughter of Amalasuntha,
  wedded by Vittigis, V. xi. 27;
  opens negotiations with John, VI. x. 11

Mauricius, Roman general, son of Mundus; slain in battle, V. vii. 2, 3, 12

Maxentiolus, bodyguard of Constantinus, VI. viii. 3, 13

Maxentius, a bodyguard of the household of Belisarius, V. xviii. 14

Maximus, slayer of Valentinian, V. xxv. 15

Maximus, descendant of the above Maximus; exiled by Belisarius, V. xxv. 15

Medes, see Persians

Melas, see Black Gulf

Meleager, uncle of Diomedes, slayer of the Calydonian boar, V. xv. 8

Messana, city in Sicily, V. viii. 1

  chief city of Liguria, VI. vii. 37, 38;
  second only to Rome among the cities of the West. _ibid._;
  receives assistance from Belisarius against the Goths, VI. xii. 26 ff.;
  occupied by the Romans, VI. xii. 36;
  besieged by Uraďas, VI. xii. 39, 40;
  its priest Datius, VI. vii. 35;
  distance from Rome and from the Alps, VI. vii. 38

Monteferetra, town in Italy; garrisoned by Vittigis, VI. xi. 3

  allies in the Roman army, V. v. 4;
  their night attacks upon the Goths, V. xxv. 9;
  sent outside the walls at night by Belisarius, V. xxv. 17;
  in the battle in the Plain of Nero, V. xxix. 22

Moras, Gothic commander in Urbinus, VI. xi. 2

Mulvian Bridge, guarded by the Goths, V. xix. 3

Mundilas, bodyguard of Belisarius;
  distinguished for his valour, VI. x. 19;
  sent out against the Goths, V. xxvii. 11, 12;
  accompanies Procopius to Naples, VI. iv. 3;
  returns to Rome, VI. iv. 4;
  kills a brave Goth, VI. v. 15;
  sent in command of troops to Milan, VI. xii. 27, 36;
  grieves at the death of Fidelius, VI. xii. 35;
  occupies cities near Milan, VI. xii. 40

Mundus, a barbarian, general of Illyricum;
  sent against Salones, V. v. 2;
  secures Salones, V. v. 11;
  slain in battle, V. vii. 4, 5, 12;
  the Sibyl's prophecy concerning him, V. vii. 6-8;
  father of Mauricius, V. vii. 6-8

Naples, city in Campania,
  on the sea, V. viii. 5;
  commanded by Uliaris, V. iii. 15;
  strongly garrisoned by the Goths, V. viii. 5;
  Belisarius attempts to bring about its surrender, V. viii. 6 ff.;
  strength of its position, V. viii. 44;
  besieged by Belisarius, V. viii. 43 ff.;
  its aqueduct cut by Belisarius, V. viii. 45;
  its aqueduct investigated by one of the Isaurians, V. ix. 11 ff.;
  the city captured thereby, V. x. 1-26;
  slaughter by the soldiers, V. x. 28, 29;
  garrisoned by Belisarius, V. xiv. 1;
  women, etc., sent thither by Belisarius, V. xxv. 2;
  Procopius sent thither, VI. iv. 1;
  Antonina retires thither, VI. iv. 6;
  Isaurian soldiers arrive there from Byzantium, VI. v. 1;
  offered to Belisarius by the Goths, VI. vi. 30;
  Goths sent thither by Belisarius, VI. xiii. 4;
  one of the only two fortresses in Campania, V. xiv. 2;
  distance from Cumae, V. xiv. 3;
  from Vesuvius, VI. iv. 22;
  its mosaic picture of Theoderic, V. xxiv. 22 ff.;
  its inhabitants Romans and Christians, V. ix. 27

Narnia, strong city in Tuscany;
  Bessas sent against it, V. xvi. 2;
  named from the Narnus River, V. xvii. 9;
  distance from Rome, V. xvii. 6;
  surrenders to Bessas, V. xvi. 3;
  battle fought there, V. xvii. 4, 5;
  garrisoned by Bessas, V. xvii. 6;
  avoided by Vittigis, V. xvii. 8, VI. xi. 9

Narnus River,
  flows by Narnia, V. xvii. 9;
  its great bridge, V. xvii. 10, 11

Narses, a eunuch,
  imperial steward, VI. xiii. 16;
  arrives in Italy, _ibid._

Narses, an Armenian; deserted to the Romans, VI. xiii. 17

  send Stephanus to Belisarius, V. viii. 7;
  reject proposals of Belisarius, V. viii. 42;
  appeal to Theodatus for help, V. ix. 1;
  Belisarius' final appeal to them, V. ix. 22 ff.;
  their obduracy, V. ix. 30;
  saved by Belisarius from abuse by the Romans, V. x. 29, 34-36;
  kill Asclepiodotus, V. x. 46;
  impale the body of Pastor, V. x. 47;
  forgiven by Belisarius, V. x. 48;
  see also Naples

Nero, Plain of, near Rome;
  a Gothic camp established there, V. xix. 3, 12, xxviii. 17;
  troops sent thither by Belisarius, V. xxviii. 15 ff.;
  operations there on the day of the great battle, V. xxix. 22 ff.;
  Marcias ordered by Vittigis to remain there, V. xxix. 2;
  Constantinus wins a signal success in, VI. i. 4-10;
  skirmish in, VI. i. 21;
  Martinus and Valerian sent to, VI. ii. 8;
  Goths victorious in, VI. ii. 19 ff.;
  but with heavy losses, VI. ii. 36;
  its "stadium," VI. i. 5

Nile River, its source unknown, V. xii. 2

Norici, a people of central Europe, V. xv. 27

Novaria, city near Milan; occupied by Mundilas, VI. xii. 40

Numa, early Roman king, V. xxiv. 31

Ochus, king of the Eruli, VI. xiv. 38

  bodyguard of the emperor, V. i. 6;
  his tyranny, V. i. 7, 8, xii. 20, VI. vi. 21;
  divides lands in Tuscany among his followers, V. i. 28;
  allows the Visigoths to occupy all of Gaul, V. xii. 20;
  Zeno unable to cope with him, VI. vi. 15, 16;
  Theoderic persuaded to attack him, V. i. 10, VI. vi. 23;
  his troops defeated by Theoderic, V. i. 14, V. xii. 21;
  besieged in Ravenna, V. i. 15, 24;
  his agreement with Theoderic, V. i. 24;
  killed by Theoderic, V. i. 25

  his meeting with Circe, V. xi. 2;
  with Diomedes stole the Palladium from Troy, V. xv. 9

Oilas, bodyguard of Belisarius, V. xxvii. 13

Opilio, Roman senator,
  envoy of Theodatus, V. iv. 15, 21;
  makes a false report to Justinian, V. iv. 25

Optaris, a Goth;
  his hostility to Theodatus, V. xi. 7, 8;
  pursues and kills him, V. xi. 6, 9

Orestes, father of Augustus,
  acts as regent for his son, V. i. 2;
  his death, V. i. 5

Ostia, city at the mouth of the Tiber;
  neglected in Procopius' time, V. xxvi. 8;
  no good road thence to Rome, V. xxvi. 13, VI. vii. 6;
  the only port on the Tiber left to Rome, V. xxvi. 16, VI. iv. 2;
  distance from Anthium, V. xxvi. 17;
  Paulus and Conon sent thither, VI. v. 3;
  reached by John, VI. vii. 1;
  provisions brought into Rome by way of Ostia, VI. vii. 1 ff.

Pancratian Gate, in Rome,
  across the Tiber, V. xxviii. 19;
  false report of its capture, V. xviii. 35;
  threatened by the Goths, V. xxiii. 1;
  guarded by Paulus, V. xxiii. 2

Pancratius, a saint;
  the Pancratian Gate named from him, V. xviii. 35

Pannonians, a people of central Europe, V. xv. 27

Panormus, city in Sicily;
  Goths in, defy Belisarius, V. v. 12;
  taken by him, V. v. 13-16;
  garrisoned by him, V. viii. 1

Parian marble, used in building Hadrian's Tomb, V. xxii. 13

Pastor, of Naples, a trained speaker;
  with Asclepiodotus opposes the proposal to surrender the city,
    V. viii. 22 ff.;
  they address the Neapolitans, V. viii. 29-40;
  bring forward the Jews, V. viii. 41;
  his death, V. x. 38;
  his body impaled by the mob, V. x. 47

Patrician rank,
  how conferred, V. vi. 3;
  some of the patricians consult the Sibylline prophecies, V. xxiv. 28 ff.;
  patrician rank conferred upon Theoderic, V. i. 9, VI. vi. 16;
  upon Ebrimous, V. viii. 3

Patrimonium, used to denote the lands of the royal house, V. iv. 1

Paucaris, an Isaurian,
  bodyguard of Belisarius, V. ix. 17;
  prepares the channel of the aqueduct of Naples for the passage of
    Roman troops, V. ix. 19-21

Paul the Apostle,
  Church of, on the Tiber, VI. iv. 9;
  respected by the Goths, VI. iv. 10;
  its site fortified by Valerian, VI. iv. 11;
  Gate of Rome named from him, VI. iv. 3

  Roman commander of cavalry, V. v. 3;
  on guard at the Pancratian Gate, V. xxiii. 2;
  sent to Milan with Thracians, VI. xii. 27, 40

  commander of Isaurians, VI. v. 1;
  proceeds to Ostia by sea, VI. v. 3;
  remains in Ostia, VI. vii. 12, 16;
  occupies Portus, VI. vii. 16, 22

Peloponnesus, its resemblance to Spain, V. xii. 3

Penates, the ancient gods of Rome, V. xxv. 19

  of Iberia, Roman general, V. v. 3;
  of the family of the king of Iberia, _ibid._;
  had come as a deserter to the Romans, _ibid._;
  summons Belisarius to the Vivarium, V. xxiii. 13;
  leads a sally against the Goths, VI. i. 11

Persia, adjoining Iberia, V. v. 3

  frequently referred to, also under the name of Medes, V. v. 3, etc.;
  their long shields, V. xxii. 20;
  Artasires a Persian, VI. ii. 10

  the first city of Tuscany, V. xvi. 4;
  submits to Constantinus, V. xvi. 4;
  battle fought near it, V. xvi. 6;
  garrisoned by Constantinus, V. xvii. 3;
  avoided by Vittigis, V. xvii. 7, VI. xi. 9

Peter, the Apostle, buried near Rome;
  one of the gates of the city named after him, V. xix. 4;
  his church, V. xxii. 21, VI. ix. 17;
  his promise to guard "Broken Wall," V. xxiii. 5;
  reverenced by the Romans above all others, V. xxiii. 5

  an Illyrian, envoy of Justinian to Italy, V. iii. 30, iv. 17;
  his excellent qualities, V. iii. 30;
  learns of events in Italy and waits in Aulon, V. iv. 20, 21;
  sent on with a letter to Amalasuntha, V. iv. 22;
  arrives in Italy, V. iv. 25;
  denounces Theodatus, V. iv. 30;
  who tries to prove his innocence, V. iv. 31;
  tries to terrify Theodatus, V. iv. 1;
  who suggests to him an agreement with Justinian, V. vi. 2-6;
  recalled and given further instructions, V. vi. 7-13;
  reports to Justinian, V. vi. 14;
  sent again to Italy, V. vi. 25, 26, vii. 24;
  reproaches Theodatus, V. vii. 13;
  who makes a public speech of warning, V. vii. 14-16;
  his reply thereto, V. vii. 17-20;
  delivers a letter from Justinian to the Gothic nobles, V. vii. 22

Petra (Pertusa), on the Flaminian Way;
  allowed by Vittigis to retain its original garrison, VI. xi. 2;
  attacked and captured by the Romans, VI. xi. 10 ff.;
  its natural position and defences, VI. xi. 10-14

Phanitheus, Erulian commander, VI. xiii. 18

Philippi, in Macedonia, home of Demetrius, V. iii. 5

Photius, step-son of Belisarius;
  accompanies him to Italy, V. v. 6;
  at the capture of Naples, V. x. 5, 8, 9, 20;
  his groom Valentinus, V. xviii. 18

Piceni, a people of central Italy, V. xv. 21

  John sent thither, VI. vii. 28;
  raided by John, VI. x. 1 ff.;
  its metropolis Auximus, VI. xi. 2;
  its strongholds:
    Petra, Auximus, and Urbinus, VI. xi. 2;
    Caesena and Monteferetra, VI. xi. 3;
  its town Alba, VI. vii. 25

Pincian Gate, in Rome;
  next to the Flaminian, V. xix. 16, xxiii. 3;
  held by Belisarius, V. xix. 14;
  often mentioned in the fighting, V. xxviii. 15, etc.

Pisidian, Principius the guardsman, V. xxviii. 23

Pissas, Gothic commander;
  sent into Tuscany, V. xvi. 5;
  defeated and captured, V. xvi. 6, 7

Pitzas, a Goth; surrenders part of Samnium to Belisarius, V. xv. 1, 2

Platonic teachings, espoused by Theodatus, V. iii. 1, vi. 10

Po River,
  called also the "Eridanus," V. i. 18;
  boundary of Liguria, V. xv. 28;
  and of Aemilia, V. xv. 30;
  crossed by Mundilas, VI. xii. 30, 31

  harbour of Rome, V. xxvi. 3;
  its situation, V. xxvi. 4-7;
  distance from Rome, V. xxvi. 4;
  a good road between it and Rome, V. xxvi. 9, VI. vii. 6;
  captured by the Goths and garrisoned by them, V. xxvi. 14, 15, xxvii. 1,
    VI. vii. 11;
  strength of its defences, V. xxvi. 7, 19;
  abandoned by the Goths and occupied by Paulus, VI. vii. 16, 22

Praenestine Gate, in Rome;
  commanded by Bessas, V. xviii. 35, xix. 15;
  threatened by a Gothic camp, V. xix. 2;
  near the Vivarium, V. xxii. 10

Precalis, a district east of the Ionian Gulf adjoining Epirus and Dalmatia,
    V. xv. 25

  a Roman of Ravenna, VI. viii. 2;
  escapes to Spolitium. _ibid._;
  robbed of two daggers by Constantinus, VI. viii. 3;
  appeals to Belisarius in Rome, VI. viii. 4 ff.

Principius, a Pisidian, bodyguard of Belisarius;
  persuades him to allow his infantry troops a share in the fighting,
    V. xxviii. 23-29;
  fights valiantly, V. xxix. 39, 40;
  killed in battle, V. xxix. 41

  writer of the history of the Gothic war, V. vii. 37, VI. ii. 38, xii. 41;
  sent to Naples to procure provisions and soldiers, VI. iv. 1 ff.;
  gathers soldiers and provisions in Campania, VI. iv. 19;
  assisted by Antonina, VI. iv. 20;
  religious views, V. iii. 6-9

Pyrenees Mountains, on the northern boundary of Spain, V. xii. 3

Quaestor, office held by Fidelius, V. xiv. 5

Quintilis, name given early to July as being the fifth month from March,
    V. xxiv. 31

Ram, an engine of war; its construction, V. xxi. 6-11

  its situation, V. i. 16 ff.;
  besieged by the Goths, V. i. 14, 24;
  surrendered to Theoderic, V. i. 24;
  treasures of Carcasiana brought to, V. xii. 47;
  occupied by Vittigis and the Goths, V. xi. 26;
  Roman senators killed there by order of Vittigis, V. xxvi. 1;
  distance from Ariminum, VI. x. 5;
  from Caesena, V. i. 15;
  from Milan, VI. vii. 37, 38;
  from the Tuscan Sea, V. xv. 19;
  limit of the Picene territory, V. xv. 21;
  the priest of, V. i. 24

  distance from Rome, V. xi. 1;
  Goths gather at, V. xi. 1, 5

Reges, a body of infantry commanded by Ursicinus, V. xxiii. 3

Reparatus, brother of Vigilius, escapes execution by flight, V. xxvi. 2

Rex, title used by barbarian kings, and preserved by Theoderic, V. i. 26,
    VI. xiv. 38

  city in southern Italy, V. viii. 1;
  Belisarius departs thence with his army, V. viii. 4

Rhine, one of the rivers of Gaul, V. xii. 7

  one of the rivers of Gaul, V. xii. 7;
  boundary of the Visigothic power, V. xii. 12, xiii. 5;
  boundary of Roman power, V. xii. 20;
  boundary between the Franks and the Goths, V. xii. 45

  leader of the Eruli, VI. xiv. 11;
  forced by his people to march against the Lombards, VI. xiv. 12 ff.

Rogi, a barbarian people, allies of the Goths, VI. xiv. 24

  subjects of the Roman Empire both in the East and in the West, mentioned
    constantly throughout;
  captured Jerusalem in ancient times, V. xii. 42;
  Roman senators killed by order of Vittigis, V. xxvi. 1;
  Roman dress of ancient times, preserved by descendants of soldiers
    stationed in Gaul, V. xii. 18, 19;
  Roman soldiers, their importance greatly lessened by the addition of
    barbarians, V. i. 4;
  superiority of their soldiers to the Goths, V. xxvii. 27;
  small importance of their infantry, V. xxviii. 22
  More particularly of the inhabitants of Rome:
    exhorted by Vittigis to remain faithful to the Goths, V. xi. 26;
    decide to receive Belisarius into the city, V. xiv. 4;
    admire the forethought of Belisarius, but object to his holding the
      city for a siege, V. xiv. 16;
    compelled by Belisarius to provide their own provisions, V. xiv. 17;
    deprived of the baths, V. xix. 27;
    distressed by the labours of the siege, reproach Belisarius,
      V. xx. 5 ff.;
    applaud his marksmanship, V. xxii. 5;
    prevent him from rebuilding "Broken Wall," V. xxiii. 5;
    their allegiance feared by Belisarius, V. xxiv. 14, 16;
    send women, children, and servants to Naples, V. xxv. 2, 10;
    some of the, attempt to open the doors of the Temple of Janus,
      V. xxv. 18-25;
    praise Belisarius publicly, V. xxvii. 25;
    eager to fight a pitched battle, V. xxviii. 1, 3;
    many of the populace mingle with the army, V. xxviii. 18, 29,
      xxix. 23, 25, 26;
    reduced to despair, VI. iii. 8;
    resort to unaccustomed foods, VI. iii. 10, 11;
    try to force Belisarius to light a decisive battle, VI. iii. 12 ff.;
    lived in luxury under Theoderic, V. xx. 11;
    held in especial honour the teachings of the Christians, V. xxv. 23

  first city of the West, VI. vii. 38;
  captured by Alaric the elder, V. xii. 41;
  visited by envoys from Justinian, V. iii. 5, 16;
  garrison left therein by Vittigis, V. xi. 25, 26;
  Goths withdraw from, V. xi. 26;
  abandoned by the Gothic garrison, V. xiv. 12, 13;
  entered by Belisarius at the same time that the Gothic garrison left it,
    V. xiv. 14;
  keys of, sent to Justinian, V. xiv. 15;
  its defences repaired and improved by Belisarius, V. xiv. 15;
  ill-situated for a siege, V. xiv. 16;
  had never sustained a long siege, V. xxiv. 13;
  its territories secured by Belisarius, V. xvi. 1;
  provisioned for the siege, V. xvii. 14;
  account of the building of the wall on both sides of the Tiber,
    V. xix. 6-10;
  its siege begun by the Goths, V. xxiv. 26;
  not entirely shut in by them, V. xxv. 6;
  mills operated in the Tiber by Belisarius, V. xix. 19 ff.;
  visited by famine and pestilence, VI. iii. 1;
  abandoned by the Goths, VI. x. 12 ff.;
  garrisoned by Belisarius, VI. xiii. 1;
  terminus of the Appian Way, V. xiv. 6;
  its boundaries adjoin Campania, V. xv. 22;
  the palace, VI. viii. 10, ix. 5;
  its aqueducts, VI. iii. 3-7, ix. 1, 2;
  cut by the Goths, V. xix. 13;
  their number and size, _ibid._;
  stopped up by Belisarius, V. xix. 18;
  water of one used to turn the mills, V. xix. 8;
  its chief priest Silverius, V. xi. 26, xiv. 4, xxv. 13;
  Vigilius V. xxv. 13, xxvi. 2;
  its gates fourteen in number, V. xix. 1;
  the Asinarian, V. xiv. 14;
  the Pancratian, V. xviii. 35;
  the Salarian, V. xviii. 39;
  the Flaminian, V. xix. 2;
  the Praenestine, _ibid._;
  the Aurelian, V. xix. 4;
  the Transtiburtine, _ibid._;
    of Peter, _ibid._;
    of Paul, VI. iv. 3;
  the Pincian, V. xix. 14;
  its church of Peter the Apostle, VI. ix. 17;
  its sewers, V. xix. 29;
  its "stadium" in the Plain of Nero VI. i. 5;
  excavations for storage outside the walls, VI. i. 11;
  its harbour
    Portus, V. xxv. 4, xxvi. 3, 7, 9;
    Ostia, VI. iv. 2;
  distance from
    Centumcellae, VI. vii. 19;
    from Narnia, V. xvii. 6;
    from Portus and the sea, V. xxvi. 4;
    from Tibur, VI. iv. 7;
description of the engines of war used against it by Vittigis,
    V. xxi. 3-12;
  a priest of, V. xvi. 20

Rusticus, a Roman priest, sent with Peter to Justinian, V. vi. 13, 14

Sacred Island, at the mouth of the Tiber, V. xxvi. 5

Salarian Gate,
  in Rome, V. xviii. 19, etc.;
  held by Belisarius, V. xix. 14;
  attacked by the Goths, V. xxxii. 1-9;
  Goths repulsed from, V. xxiii. 24, 25

Salones, city in Dalmatia;
  Mundus sent against, V. v. 2;
  taken by him, V. v. 11;
  battle near, V. vii. 2 ff.;
  its inhabitants mistrusted by the Goths, V. vii. 10, 31;
  weakness of its defences, V. vii. 31;
  occupied by the Goths, V. vii. 27;
  abandoned by them, V. vii. 32;
  occupied by Constantianus, V. vii. 33-36;
  Vittigis sends an army against, V. xvi. 9, 10;
  strengthened by Constantianus, V. xvi. 14, 15;
  invested by the Goths, V. xvi. 16

  a people of central Italy, V. xv. 21;
  children among; their gruesome play, V. xx. 1-4

Samnium, VI. v. 2;
  a portion of, surrendered to Belisarius, V. xv. 1, 15;
  the remainder held by the Goths, V. xv. 2

Scardon, city in Dalmatia, V. vii. 32, xvi. 13

Sciri, a Gothic nation, V. i. 3

  a barbarian nation, VI. xv. 2;
  in the Roman army, V. xxvii. 2

Scrithiphini, nation on the island of Thule; their manner of life, customs,
    etc., VI. xv. 16-25

Scylla, the story of, located at the strait of Messana, V. viii. 1

Sibyl, The,
  her prophecy regarding Mundus, V. vii. 6-8;
  prophecies of, consulted by patricians, V. xxiv. 28;
  difficulty of understanding them, V. xxiv. 34-37;
  her cave shewn at Cumae, V. xiv. 3

  applaud Belisarius, V. v. 18;
  find the Romans faithful to their promises, V. viii. 18, 27

  Belisarius sent thither with a fleet, V. v. 6, xiii. 14;
  taken by him, V. v. 12 ff., 18;
  garrisoned by him, V. xxiv. 2;
  Theodatus proposes to withdraw from, V. vi. 2;
  grain brought thence by Belisarius, V. xiv. 17;
  Roman refugees resort to, V. xxv. 10;
  offered to Belisarius by the Goths, VI. vi. 27;
  Goths sent thither by Belisarius, VI. xiii. 4;
  smaller than Britain, VI. vi. 28

  chief priest of Rome, V. xi. 26;
  influences the citizens to yield to the Romans, V. xiv. 4;
  dismissed by Belisarius, V. xxv. 13

Singidunum, city in Pannonia, V. xv. 27, VI. xv. 30

Sinthues, bodyguard of Belisarius;
  sent to Tibur with Magnus, VI. iv. 7;
  repairs the defences, VI. iv. 15;
  wounded in battle, _ibid._

Siphilas, bodyguard of Constantianus, at the taking of Salones, V. vii. 34

Sirmium, city of the Gepaedes in Pannonia, V. iii. 15, xi. 5, xv. 27

Siscii, a people of central Europe, V. xv. 26

Solomon, king of the Jews; his treasures taken from Rome by Alaric,
    V. xii. 42

  first country of Europe beginning from Gibraltar, V. xii. 3;
  its size compared with that of Gaul, V. xii. 5;
  formerly subject to the Romans, V. xii. 9;
  occupied by the Visigoths, V. xii. 12;
  really under the sway of Theoderic, V. xii. 47;
  Theudis establishes an independent power in, V. xii. 50-54;
  Spanish woman of great wealth married by him, V. xii. 50;
  Visigoths retire to, V. xiii. 13

Spaniards, situated beyond Gaul, V. xv. 29

Spolitium, city in Italy;
  submits to Constantinus, V. xvi. 3;
  garrisoned by him, V. xvi. 4, xvii. 3;
  avoided by Vittigis, V. xvii. 7, VI. xi. 9;
  Presidius takes refuge in, VI. viii. 2

Stephanus, a Neapolitan;
  remonstrates with Belisarius, V. viii. 7-11;
  urged by Belisarius to win over the Neapolitans, V. viii. 19;
  his attempts to do so, V. viii. 20, 21;
  assisted by Antiochus, V. viii. 21;
  opposed by Pastor and Asclepiodotus, V. viii. 22-24;
  goes again to Belisarius, V. viii. 25;
  summoned once more by Belisarius, V. ix. 23;
  returns to the city, V. ix. 29;
  bitterly accuses Asclepiodotus before Belisarius, V. x. 40-43

Suartuas, an Erulian;
  appointed king of the Eruli by Justinian, VI. xv. 32;
  attempts to destroy the Eruli sent to Thule, VI. xv. 34;
  flees to Byzantium, VI. xv. 35;
  Justinian attempts to restore him, VI. xv. 36

  barbarian people in Gaul, V. xii. 11;
  in two divisions, V. xv. 26;
  Asinarius gathers an army among them, V. xvi. 9, 12

Suntas, bodyguard of Belisarius, VI. vii. 27

  a Roman senator and ex-consul, father-in-law of Boetius, V. i. 32;
  his death, V. i. 34;
  his children receive from Amalasuntha his property, V. ii. 5

  surrenders to Belisarius, V. v. 12;
  entered by him on the last day of his consulship, V. v. 18, 19;
  garrisoned by him, V. viii. 1

Syria, home of Antiochus of Naples, V. viii. 21

Taracina, city near Rome, V. xi. 2;
  at the limit of Campania, V. xv. 22;
  Euthalius stops in, VI. ii. 1;
  Belisarius sends a hundred men thither, VI. ii. 3;
  occupied by Martinus and Trajan, VI. iv. 6, 14;
  left by them, VI. v. 4

Tarmutus, an Isaurian, brother of Ennes;
  persuades Belisarius to allow his infantry troops a share in the fighting,
    V. xxviii. 23-29;
  fights valiantly, V. xxix. 39, 40;
  his remarkable escape, V. xxix. 42, 43;
  his death, V. xxix. 44

Taulantii, a people of Illyricum, V. i. 13

Theoctistus, a physician; his successful treatment of Arzes' wound,
    VI. ii. 26 ff.

  son of Amalafrida and nephew of Theoderic, V. iii. 1;
  opposed by Amalasuntha in his oppression of the people of Tuscany,
    V. iii. 2, 3;
  plans to hand over Tuscany to Justinian, V. iii. 4, 29;
  meets the envoys of Justinian secretly, V. iii. 9;
  accused by the Tuscans, V. iv. 1;
  compelled by Amalasuntha to make restitution, V. iv. 2;
  her attempts to gain his support, V. iv. 9 ff.;
  becomes king, V. iv. 10, 19;
  imprisons Amalasuntha, V. iv. 13-15;
  sends envoys and a letter to Justinian, V. iv. 15, 16;
  receives the envoy Peter from Justinian, V. iv. 17;
  opposed by Justinian, V. iv. 22;
  defended by Opilio, V. iv. 25;
  persuaded to kill Amalasuntha, V. iv. 26, 27;
  denounced by Peter, V. iv. 30;
  his excuses, V. iv. 31;
  terrified by Peter, suggests an agreement with Justinian, V. vi. 1-5;
  recalls Peter and consults him further, V. vi. 6-13;
  his letter to Justinian, V. vi. 14-21;
  reply of Justinian, V. vi. 22-25;
  receives envoys from Justinian, V. vi. 26;
  refuses to put his agreement into effect, V. vii. 11, 12;
  makes a speech regarding rights of envoys, V. vii. 13-16;
  receives a letter addressed to the Gothic nobles, V. vii. 22;
  guards the envoys Peter and Athanasius, V. vii. 25;
  proposes an alliance with the Franks, V. xiii. 14, 24;
  kept the wives and children of the garrison of Naples, V. viii. 8;
  appealed to in vain by the Neapolitans, V. ix. 1;
  the story of the swine whose fortune foreshadowed the outcome of the war,
    V. ix. 2-7;
  dethroned by the Goths, V. xi. 1;
  flees toward Ravenna, pursued by Optaris, V. xi. 6;
  the cause of Optaris' hatred of him, V. xi. 7, 8;
  killed on the road, V. xi. 9, xiii. 15, xxix. 6;
  brother of Amalaberga, V. xiii. 2;
  father of Theodegisclus, V. xi. 10;
  father-in-law of Ebrimous, V. viii. 3;
  father of Theodenanthe, _ibid._;
  his unstable character, V. vii. 11;
  accustomed to seek oracles, V. ix. 3

Theodegisclus, son of Theodatus; imprisoned by Vittigis, V. xi. 10

Theodenanthe, daughter of Theodatus, wife of Ebrimous, V. viii. 3

  Gothic king, patrician and ex-consul in Byzantium, V. i. 9, VI. vi. 16;
  leads the Goths in rebellion, V. i. 9;
  persuaded by Zeno to attack Odoacer, V. i. 10, VI. vi. 16, 23;
  leads the Gothic people to Italy, V. i. 12;
  not followed from Thrace by all the Goths, V. xvi. 2;
  besieges Ravenna, V. i. 24;
  his agreement with Odoacer, V. i. 24;
  kills him, V. i. 25;
  his war with the Gepaedes, V. xi. 5;
  forms close alliance with the Thuringians and Visigoths, V. xii. 21, 22;
  feared by the Franks, V. xii. 23;
  forms an alliance with them, V. xii. 24;
  craftily refrains from participation in the war against the Burgundians
    and gains part of their land, V. xii. 26-28, 31, 32;
  disregarded by the Franks, V. xii. 33;
  appealed to by Alaric and sends him an army, V. xii. 34;
  reproached by the Visigoths, V. xii. 37;
  drives the Franks from besieging Carcasiana, V. xii. 44;
  recovers eastern Gaul, V. xii. 45;
  makes Amalaric king of the Visigoths, acting as regent himself,
    V. xii. 46;
  sends Theudis to Spain with an army, V. xii. 50;
  tolerates his tyranny, V. xii. 51-54;
  virtual ruler over Gaul and Spain as well as Italy, V. xii. 47-49;
  imposed a tribute on the Visigoths, V. xii. 47, 48, xiii. 6;
  removed the treasures of Carcasiana, V. xiii. 6;
  kills Symmachus and Boetius, V. i. 34;
  terrified thereafter by the appearance of a fish's head, V. i. 35 ff.;
  his death, V. i. 39, xiii. 1;
  succeeded by Atalaric, V. ii. 1;
  made no new laws in Italy, VI. vi. 17;
  mosaic picture of, in Naples, V. xxiv. 22;
  kept the Romans in luxury, V. xx. 11;
  did not allow the Goths to educate their children, V. ii. 14;
  his own ignorance of letters, V. ii. 16;
  his character as a sovereign, V. i. 26 ff., xi. 26;
  beloved by his subjects, V. i. 29-31;
  brother of Amalafrida, V. iii. 1;
  father of Amalasuntha, V. ii. 23, xxiv. 25;
  father of Theodichusa, V. xii. 22;
  grandfather of Amalaric, V. xii. 43, 46;
  of Atalaric, V. ii. 1, xxiv. 24;
  of Matasuntha, V. xi. 27, xxix. 8;
  uncle of Theodatus, V. iii. 1;
  the family of, V. iv. 6

  daughter of Theoderic, betrothed to Alaric the younger, V. xii. 22;
  mother of Amalaric, V. xii. 43

Theodoriscus, a Cappadocian, guardsman of Martinus; conspicuous for his
    valour, V. xxix. 20, 21

Thessalonica, home of Peter, V. iii. 30

Theudibert, king of the Franks;
  gives his sister in marriage to Amalaric, V. xiii. 4;
  appealed to by her, V. xiii. 10;
  defeats Amalaric in battle, V. xiii. 11;
  takes possession of the Visigothic portion of Gaul, V. xiii. 12;
  sanctions treaty with Theodatus, V. xiii. 27;
  sends allies to Vittigis, VI. xii. 38, 39

  a Goth, marries a woman in Spain and sets up an independent power there,
    V. xii. 50-54;
  tyrant in Spain, V. xiii. 13

  ancient home of the Goths, V. xvi. 2;
  home of Constantinus and Bessas, V. v. 3;
    of Cutilas, VI. ii. 10;
    of Ulimuth, VI. xiii. 14

Thracians, a force of,
  reaches Dryus, VI. v. 1;
  with the Roman army, VI. xi. 5;
  sent to Milan under command of Paulus, VI. xii. 26, 27

  description of the island, its inhabitants, long nights, etc.,
    VI. xv. 4 ff.;
  Eruli settled there, VI. xv. 29;
  the Eruli send thither for a king, VI. xiv. 42, xv. 27, 30;
  their messengers return from, VI. xv. 33

Thurii, a city in southern Italy, V. xv. 23

  barbarians in Gaul, V. xii. 10, 11;
  form close alliance with Theoderic, V. xii. 21, 22;
  their ruler Hermenefridus, V. xii. 22;
  subjugated by the Franks, V. xiii. 1

Tiber River,
  an obstacle to Vittigis, V. xvii. 13-15;
  defended by Belisarius, V. xvii. 18, xviii. 2 ff.;
  crossed by Vittigis, V. xviii. 1 ff.; xxiv. 3;
  crossed by the Goths to storm the wall, V. xxii. 18, 25;
  used by Belisarius to turn the mills, V. xix. 19 ff.;
  Romans bring in provisions by it, VI. vii. 8 ff;
  description of its mouths, V. xxvi. 5-8;
  navigable, V. xxvi. 6;
  freight traffic on, V. xxvi. 10-12;
  its tortuous course, V. xxvi. 11;
  flowed by the wall near the Aurelian Gate, V. xxii. 16, VI. ix. 16;
  sewers of Rome discharged into it, V. xix. 29;
  bridged in building the wall of Rome, V. xix. 10;
  included in the fortifications of Rome, V. xix. 6-10;
  bridge over, distance from Rome, V. xvii. 13;
  fortified by Belisarius, V. xvii. 14;
  abandoned by the garrison, V. xvii. 19

  occupied by Sinthues and Magnus, VI. iv. 7;
  distance from Rome, _ibid._

  strongly fortified city, VI. xii. 32;
  battle fought near, VI. xii. 31, 33

Totila, ruler of the Goths, V. xxiv. 32

Trajan, bodyguard of Belisarius;
  makes a successful attack upon the Goths, V. xxvii. 4 ff.;
  sent to Taracina, VI. iv. 6;
  which he occupies with Martinus, VI. iv. 14;
  summoned back to Rome, VI. v. 4;
  sent against the Goths, VI. v. 9, 10;
  in the battle at the Pincian Gate, VI. v. 21;
  his strange wound, VI. v. 24-27

Transtiburtine Gate, threatened by a Gothic camp, V. xix. 4

Tria Fata, near the temple of Janus in Rome, V. xxv. 19

Tripolis, ashes from Vesuvius fell in, VI. iv. 27

Troy, a man of Troy, V. xv. 10; see also Ilium

  town in Italy, garrisoned by Vittigis; VI. xi. 1;
  surrenders to Belisarius, VI. xiii. 2, 3;
  garrisoned by him, VI. xiii. 4

Tuscan Sea,
  south of Gaul, V. xii. 6, 7;
  distance from Ravenna, V. xv. 19

  accuse Theodatus before Amalasuntha, V. iv. 1;
  welcome Constantinus into their cities, V. xvi. 4

  extending from Aemilia to the boundaries of Rome, V. xv. 30;
  most of its lands owned by Theodatus, V. iii. 2, 29;
  who plans to hand it over to Justinian, V. iii. 4, iv. 17;
  invaded by Constantinus, V. xvi. 1 ff.;
  its cities: Genoa, VI. xii. 29;
      Narnia, V. xvi. 2;
      Spolitium and Perusia, V. xvi. 3;
      Clusium, VI. xi. 1;
      Centumcellae, VI. vii. 18, 19;
  its lake Vulsina, V. iv. 14

Tydeus, father of Diomedes, V. xv. 8

Uliaris, a Goth, in command of Naples, V. iii. 15

Ulias, a Goth, given as a hostage, VI. vii. 13

Uligisalus, sent to Dalmatia, V. xvi. 8;
  enters Liburnia alone, V. xvi. 12;
  defeated, retires to Burnus, V. xvi. 13;
  proceeds with Asinarius to Salones, V. xvi. 16;
  stationed in Tudera, VI. xi. 1

Ulimuth, of Thrace, bodyguard of Belisarius;
  renders signal service at Ancon, VI. xiii. 14, 15

Ulitheus, uncle of Vittigis, defeated and killed by John, VI. x. 2

Unilas, Gothic commander;
  sent into Tuscany, V. xvi. 5;
  defeated and captured, V. xvi. 6, 7

Uraďas, Gothic commander;
  sent into Liguria, VI. xii. 37;
  nephew of Vittigis, _ibid._

  city in Picenum, VI. x. 5;
  passed by John, VI. x. 5, 7;
  garrisoned by Vittigis, VI. xi. 2

Ursicinus, Roman commander of infantry, V. v. 3, xxiii. 3

Urviventus, town near Rome; garrisoned by Vittigis, VI. xi. 1

Vacimus, Gothic commander; sent against Ancon, VI. xiii. 5, 8

Vacis, a Goth, sent to the Salarian Gate to harangue the Romans,
    V. xviii. 39-41

Valentinian, Roman emperor; slain by Maximus, V. xxv. 15

  Roman commander of cavalry, V. v. 3;
  sent to the Plain of Nero by Belisarius, V. xxviii. 16, 19;
  unable to control his troops, V. xxix. 28

Valentinus, groom of Photius; fights valiantly, V. xviii. 18

Valerian, Roman commander;
  sent to Italy, V. xxiv. 19;
  winters in Aetolia, V. xxiv. 20;
  ordered to hasten to Rome, V. xxiv. 18;
  arrives in Rome, V. xxvii. 1;
  sent out against the Goths by Belisarius, V. xxvii. 22;
  sent to the Plain of Nero, VI. ii. 8;
  fights there with varying fortune, VI. ii. 19 ff.;
  with Martinus rescues Bochas, VI. ii. 24;
  establishes a camp at the church of Paul, VI. iv. 11;
  returns to the city, VI. iv. 12;
  with Ildiger seizes Constantinus, VI. viii. 16;
  uncle of Damian, VI. vii. 26;
  his bodyguard Gouboulgoudou, VI. xiii. 14

Vandalarius, see Visandus

Vandals in Africa; their overthrow, V. iii. 22, v. 1, xxix. 8

Varni, a barbarian nation, VI. xv. 2

Veneti, their territory adjoining Istria, and extending to Ravenna,
    V. xv. 25

Venetia, held by the Goths, V. xi. 16

Vergentinus, Roman senator; escapes execution by flight, V. xxvi. 2

  threatens an eruption, VI. iv. 21;
  description of the mountain, VI. iv. 22-24;
  distance from Naples, VI. iv. 22;
  its heavy ash showers, VI. iv. 25-27;
  periodicity of its eruptions, VI. iv. 28;
  its fertility, VI. iv. 29;
  its salubrious atmosphere, VI. iv. 30

  appointed chief priest of Rome, V. xxv. 13;
  brother of Reparatus, V. xxvi. 2

Visandus Vandalarius, a Goth;
  distinguished for his bravery at the battle of the Mulvian bridge,
    V. xviii. 29;
  his unexpected recovery, V. xviii. 30-33;
  stationed at Auximus, VI. xi. 2

Visandus, Erulian commander, VI. xiii. 18

  occupy all of Spain and part of Gaul, V. xii. 12;
  their ruler Alaric the younger, V. xii. 22;
  form close alliance with Theoderic, V. xii. 21, 22;
  attacked by the Franks, V. xii. 33;
  encamp against them, V. xii. 35;
  compel Alaric to fight, V. xii. 36-38;
  defeated in battle, V. xii. 40;
  choose Giselic as king, V. xii. 43;
  Amalaric becomes king over them, V. xii. 46;
  mingle with the Goths, V. xii. 49;
  separate from them, V. xiii. 7, 8;
  defeated by the Franks, V. xiii. 11;
  withdraw from Gaul to Spain, V. xiii. 13

Vitalian, the tyrant, uncle of John, VI. v. 1, vii. 25

  chosen king of the Goths, V. xi. 5;
  his good birth and military achievements, _ibid._;
  sends Optaris in pursuit of Theodatus, V. xi. 6;
  imprisons the son of Theodatus, V. xi. 10;
  advises withdrawal to Ravenna, V. xi. 11 ff.;
  withdraws to Ravenna, leaving a garrison in Rome, V. xi. 26;
  unable to recall the Goths from Gaul, V. xiii. 16;
  addresses the Goths, V. xiii. 17-25;
  forms an alliance with the Franks, V. xiii. 26-28;
  summons Marcias from Gaul, V. xiii. 29;
  sends an army against the Romans in Tuscany, V. xvi. 5;
  eager to leave Ravenna, but prevented by the absence of Marcias,
    V. xvi. 7, 11;
  sends an army to Dalmatia, V. xvi. 8, 9;
  finally moves against Rome, V. xvi. 19;
  his feverish haste, V. xvi. 20, 21, xvii. 8;
  refrains from attacking Perusia, Spolitium, and Narnia, V. xvii. 7, 8;
  advances through Sabine territory, V. xvii. 12;
  halts at the Tiber, V. xvii. 13;
  sends Vacis to the Salarian Gate, V. xviii. 39;
  commands one Gothic camp, V. xix. 12;
  his name given in play to one of the Samnite children, V. xx. 1-4;
  sends envoys to Belisarius, V. xx. 7;
  hears their report, V. xxi. 1;
  prepares to storm the wall, V. xxi. 2, 3;
  constructs engines of war, V. xxi. 4-12;
  makes a general assault on the wall, V. xxii. 1 ff.;
  leads an attack on the Vivarium, V. xxii. 10 ff.;
  where he presses the Romans hard, V. xxiii. 13;
  breaks down the outer wall, V. xxiii. 17, 19;
  his attacking force cut to pieces, V. xxiii. 20-22;
  kills Roman senators, V. xxvi. 1;
  seizes Portus, V. xxvi. 3, 14;
  tries to use Roman tactics on Belisarius, V. xxvii. 15-23;
  prepares for battle and addresses his army, V. xxix. 1-15;
  commands in person at the great battle, V. xxix. 16 ff.;
  allows Portus to be abandoned, VI. vii. 16, 22;
  investigates the aqueduct, VI. ix. 1 ff.;
  tries a new stratagem, VI. ix. 16 ff.;
  alarmed for Ravenna, abandons Rome, VI. x. 8, 12, 13;
  marches to Ariminum, leaving garrisons in certain towns VI. xi. 1-3;
  besieges Ariminum, VI. xii. 1 ff.;
  sends an army into Liguria, VI. xii. 37;
  receives Frankish allies, VI. xii. 38;
  Belisarius marches against him, VI. xiii. 1;
  sends an army against Ancon, VI. xiii. 5;
  uncle of Uraďas, VI. xii. 37;
  nephew of Ulitheus, VI. x. 2;
  husband of Matasuntha, V. xi. 27, VI. x. 11

  an enclosure in the walls of Rome, V. xxii. 10;
  built for the keeping of wild animals, V. xxiii. 16;
  a very vulnerable point in the wall, V. xxiii. 13, 15;
  attacked by Vittigis, V. xxii. 10, 11, xxiii. 13-23;
  successfully defended under the direction of Belisarius, V. xxiii. 14-23

Vulsina, lake in Tuscany; Amalasuntha imprisoned there, V. iv. 14

Wild ass, an engine used for throwing stones, V. xxi. 18, 19

Wolf, a contrivance used by Belisarius for guarding the gates of Rome,
    V. xxi. 19-22

Zarter, a Massagete, bodyguard of Belisarius, sent into Tuscany, V. xvi. 1

  emperor of the East, V. i. 2;
  persuades Theoderic to attack Odoacer, V. i. 10, VI. vi. 16, 23

  a Roman commander of cavalry, VI. v. 2;
  given as a hostage, VI. vii. 13

Transcriber's Notes:

In this text edition, the dated sidenotes were replaced with lettered
footnotes with the references following the paragraph in which they

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

Chapter XXIII, Footnote 1: "cap." changed to "chap."

Page 329, "Dryous" changed to "Dryus". (who landed at Dryus)

Page 438, "seven" changed to "six". (establish six camps)


The following words were changed so that the index matched what was
actually in the text.

           Original            Changed
            Index                To
          "Aclyinus"         "Aquilinus"
          "Aegypt"           "Egypt"
          "Peter"            "Pastor" (under Asclepiodotus)
          "Giselicus"        "Giselic"(under Alaric and Giselic)
          "Aquilea"          "Aquileia"
          "Bandalarius"      "Vandalarius" (under Vandalarius and Visandus)
          "Chorsomantis"     "Chorsamantis"
          "Diomed"           "Diomedes" (twice under Beneventus)
          "Messina"          "Messana" (under Charybdis and Scylla)
          "Chersonnesus"     "Chersonese"
          "Rudolphus"        "Rodolophus"(under Lombards)
          "Viselicus"        "Giselic"(under Visigoths)
          "Uraias"           "Uraďas"

Body-guard used four times in the A section in index changed to
bodyguard to conform to text.

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